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Iraqi Health Ministry Says 1,500 People Killed in August


The Iraqi Health Ministry says violence killed more than 1,500 people in Baghdad last month.

The announcement Friday follows recent comments by Iraqi and U.S. officials that a huge security crackdown in the capital is working.

The Iraqi ministry says the death count is based on reports from morgues and hospitals. The ministry says the toll in Baghdad from insurgent attacks and sectarian violence in August was about 14 percent lower than in July.

Last week, the U.S. military said the murder rate in Baghdad dropped 52 percent in August from the daily rate for July.

It was not immediately clear why the two figures are so different.

In violence Friday in Baghdad, a roadside bomb killed at least two people.

The U.S. military also says an American soldier died after a roadside bomb struck his vehicle south of Baghdad.

On Thursday, U.S.-led forces began turning over control of Iraq's military to the Shi'ite-led government.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki now has control of one of Iraq's 10 army divisions, as well as its small air force and navy.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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