UN: Security improves in Iraq but problem areas remain
( dpa ) - The security situation in Iraq remains tense despite a drop in violence over the last few months, the United Nations mission to the country reported Saturday.
Though attacks fell overall in the second half of 2007, especially in the capital region, violence increased in other areas, and it remained unclear whether the reductions were long-term, according to the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).
"The extent to which the decrease in violence was sustainable remained unclear, with the security situation still precarious in many parts of the country," the UNAMIS report said.
As security improved in parts of Baghdad and other locations, it deteriorated elsewhere with heightened activity by insurgent groups and others in governorates such as Mosul and Diyala."
The UN attributed the decrease in violence to the so-called surge in US troops, primarily to Baghdad, which began in the spring. But it warned that civilians were still being deliberately targeted by both Sunni and Shiite militant groups.
The UN credited the Iraqi government with improvements in its judicial system but said there remained a long road ahead. UNAMIS cited long delays in reviewing detainee cases, lack of access to attorneys and investigation of torture allegations as areas in need of improvement.