Michael Ware


NR: "Outside the capital, the violence has gone on."

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Length: 2:45

KYRA PHILLIPS: Now the fight for Iraq and what to make of an apparent lull in attacks by insurgents in Baghdad.

As CNN's Michael Ware reports, the U.S. command is proceeding with caution.


MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In Iraq, though the bloodshed continues and the war lurches on, there has been a glimmer of good news for the U.S. military. A lull in violence in the capital, Baghdad, over the past few days. We see the U.S. military spokesman in Iraq, Major General William Caldwell, though, still sober in even his assessment of this current drop in violence.

MAJ. GEN. WILLIAM CALDWELL, SPOKESMAN, MULTINATIONAL FORCE, IRAQ: The violence is focused along Sunni-Shia ethnic fault lines, predominantly outside the cleared focus areas. With the end of Ramadan, we have seen a decrease in the levels of violence, but this is only been in the past few days, and we'll have to wait to see if this decrease proves to be a trend.

WARE: So it's too early to tell whether this fits into a broader pattern of violence being reduced here in Iraq. Most likely, however, it's linked to the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the three-day Festival of Eid where Iraqis celebrate.

It also marks the end of the insurgents' month-long Ramadan offensive. Most likely, military intelligence assessments would be that this is a bad time for the insurgents to attack, during the Eid festival, in terms of their PR campaign, but also, the insurgency having launched four weeks of ongoing attacks will now be regrouping, taking its breath before it moves on.

Meanwhile, outside the capital, the violence has gone on. Just 45 minutes north of Baghdad in the province of Diyala, over the past two weeks we have seen concerted and coordinated attacks on police recruits in which dozens have been killed and dozens more were captured. Their whereabouts to this day still remain unknown.

Just yesterday we saw an Iraqi police rescue team, acting on intelligence that some of their missing comrades were in a village, lured into an ambush, set upon by the insurgents, who quite possibly had fed them the information. In that exchange yesterday, 29 police were killed, at least 29 more were wounded.

Meanwhile, we've had the announcement of the deaths of five more American troops, bringing this month's total to 96, making it the fourth deadliest month since the war began.

Michael Ware, CNN, Baghdad.