Monday, December 11, 2006

Something Doesn't Add Up Here

A Sunni spokesman, describing violence and sectarian strife in Baghdad, gives this Hurriyah death count included in an Associated Press report [emphasis added]:
Omar Abdul-Sattar, a member of the Sunni Arab Iraqi Islamic Party, said Sunday that an organized effort was under way in Hurriyah to force Sunnis out, and he accused Iraq's Shiite-led government of doing little to stop the violence.

Abdul-Sattar claimed that during the past five months, more than 300 Sunni families have been displaced from Hurriyah, more than 100 Sunnis killed and 200 wounded, and at least five Sunni mosques burned, along with houses and shops.
In their defense against questions raised by the Jamil Hussein fake source scandal, the Associated Press mentioned a report from November that seems to indicate a much, much higher figure [emphasis added]:
The AP's Lauren Frayer, embedded with the 172nd during the Hurriyah deployment, described their efforts in early November. Capt. R. Tyler Willbanks, from Gallatin, Tenn., said "there were 25 dead bodies a day before we got here," a number they got down to three a day before the latest eruption in late November.
That would be 100 dead every four days - the same figure that Sunni spokesman Abdul-Sattar claims for five months.

Is it reasonable that Abdul-Sattar, attempting to state his case as strongly as possible, would understate the casualty rate by orders of magnitude? Or are members of the Press exaggerating the violence, as they were accused of doing regarding the sensational, and now largely discredited "burning six" story?