Iraqi civilian deaths drop to a year low

BAGHDAD - The number of civilians killed in violence across Iraq dropped to a year low in December, government figures showed on Sunday, despite bombings that rocked the capital after the pullout of US forces.
Tension rose after the December 18 withdrawal of US troops when Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri Maliki sought the arrest of the Sunni vice president on charges he ran death squads and also asked parliament to fire the Sunni deputy prime minister.
The December toll of civilians killed in bombings and other attacks was 90, down from 112 in November, according to figures from the Health Ministry.
Thirty-six police and 29 soldiers were also killed in December, figures from the Interior and Defense Ministries showed, compared with 42 police and 33 soldiers killed in November.