The violence in Iraq continues to escalate, according to the latest UN figures, with more than 650 Iraqi civilians killed in November 2013.

The UN reports that  7,157 civilians and 952 security forces have been killed so far in 2013.    Perhaps most tragically, so many of these innocent victims have been killed while doing the most mundane daily tasks – shopping for food, drinking coffee in a cafe, etc.   Meanwhile, the failure of the Iraqi security forces to quell this violence is weighing heavily on the negotiations in Afghanistan, where the Loyal Jinga voted overwhelming to ask US forces to stay on pretty much indefinitely.  No one really wants this outcome but everyone is fearing the kind of resurgent strife that is growing in Iraq.

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