45 Killed in Insurgent Attacks — Mostly Insurgents

Arthur Chrenkoff catches AFP in a whopper of a misleading headline: “45 killed in insurgent attacks

AT least 45 people have been killed in insurgent attacks across Iraq as Washington defended its decision to go to war on the second anniversary of the US-led invasion. Twenty-four Iraqi insurgents were killed and six coalition soldiers wounded in a firefight in a Baghdad suburb overnight, the US military said. “At approximately noon today (2am AEDT), 24 terrorists were killed and seven wounded when they attacked coalition forces on the outskirts of Baghdad. Six soldiers were injured during the attack,” the military said without elaborating.

A US military spokesman would not specify from which country the coalition casualties came, although the Iraqi capital is in the US operational area. Earlier at least 21 people were killed, including a US soldier, in attacks targeting the country’s security forces.

So, they’re counting the 24 terrorists who were themselves killed in the total of those killed “in insurgent attacks.” Hmm.

Update: The AP, at least the Army Times version, headlines the story quite differently: “Troops kill 26 in largest clash since election.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Ralf Goergens says:

    At least they didn’t replace ‘terrorists’s with ‘militants’.

    Btw, some of the terrorists might have been my neighbors. A sizable number of European Muslims have gone to Iraq, after all.

  2. BigFire says:

    I don’t see how they can spin more negatively than this. Next time we get a 25-0 dead terrorists count, they’ll count that as 25 killed by the ‘insurgents’.

  3. Batman says:

    I have to rant a little – forgive me – Okay so of the 45 “killed by insurgent attacks” at least 24 of them were insurgents!!!!! (and we don’t know about the other 21 talked about later – based on the usual ratio – if they weren’t VBIEDS but Haji’s with AK’s then the insurgents made up the lions share of dead…) This isn’t just sloppy its disgusting. I like the quote from the “US Military” (wonder how you quote over a million people – shouldn’t it say – “Coalition Spokesman”) who refered to the 24 as terrorists…though you know the reporter probably wanted to put terrorists in quotes…Whatever happened to headlines like – “24 insurgents killed in attacks on coalition forces” oh wait – THAT would be considered bias… when did these guys become “insurgents” anyway? Last I checked wouldn’t that require some sort of cohesive political structure behind it – as opposed to the motley crew of jihadists, baathist thugs, and plain old criminal gangs that make up the “insurgency” – a word that implies a certain legitimacy, unlike “terrorist”, or just plain “criminal” though terrorist’s by definition have political or social goals – and by all standards of law – are also criminals. Insurgencies are similar to “revolutionaries” and imply a sort of civil war – something that is most certainly not going on in Iraq. Those killing folks in Iraq are neither “insurgents” or “revolutionaries” by any stretch of the imagination – Anyway – just my two cents…

    Sometimes words really DO matter…