The number of American troops and Iraqi civilians killed in the war fell in September to levels not seen in more than a year. The US military said the lower count was at least partly a result of new strategies and 30,000 additional US forces deployed this year.
Although it is difficult to draw conclusions from a single month's tally, the figures could suggest US-led forces are making headway against extremist factions and disrupting their ability to strike back.
The US military toll for September was 65, the lowest since July 2006, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press from death announcements by the American command and Pentagon.
More dramatic, however, was the decline in Iraqi civilian, police and military deaths. The figure was 988 in September - 50 percent lower than the previous month and the lowest tally since June 2006, when 847 Iraqis died.