As the sabre-rattling directed at Iran grows louder and louder, reminders arrive from both Iraq and Afghanistan about how big a mess we still have to clear up in those places.
A series of bombs across Iraq in the last two days have killed at least 13 people, including seven near a police station in the northern city of Ramadi. Last month saw 393 civilian deaths in the country – the highest total for more than a year.
Meanwhile, in southern Afghanistan, at least 30 people lost their lives when a bus hit a landmine as it travelled from Nimroz to Kandahar City. A UN report said that last month was the worst of the year for civilian deaths in Afghanistan too. Up to the end of August, 1,500 had been killed so far this year – an increase of more than 350 on the same period in 2008.
See also my blog of Sept 2.