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U.S. crackdown in Baghdad fails to show concrete results.

Baghdad recorded more than 1,500 violent deaths in August, according to final figures released by the Health Ministry this week _ nearly three times the preliminary figure the same ministry had released last week. The figure is a sharp contradiction of U.S. and Iraqi claims that a security crackdown led to a steep drop in deaths in the capital.

Instead, the number of deaths in the capital in August was roughly the same as during July, before the U.S.-led security crackdown began, the Health Ministry officials said. 

Preliminary Health Ministry figures released last week showed violent deaths in August in Baghdad at just 550 to that point, according to Dr. Riad Abdul Amir of the Health Ministry's statistics bureau, whom the Associated Press and other media quoted then.

There was no way to explain the discrepancy, Health Ministry officials said this week when contacted by the Associated Press.

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