Full article in JPG format: page 24/25 & page 26/27
News that April was the bloodiest month in Iraq for almost five years has lent credibility to recent warnings that the country may be slipping back into civil war, fuelled by the Sunni Islamist insurgency across its north-western border with Syria. Some 595 civilians were killed violently in Iraq this April, the UN says, doubling the previous month's figure.
But that statistic, grim as it is, remains a world away from the nightmarish scenes at the height of the war in July 2006, when more than 3,200 deaths were recorded in a single month. The deterioration also comes as Iraq pushes through its 2013 budget, earmarking 138 trillion Iraqi dinar ($118.5 billion) of public spending. Though Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the session, Iraq's immense oil wealth is beginning to trickle down to ordinary citizens.
Amid the dichotomy of growing prosperity and deepening violence, flag carrier Iraqi Airways – which was grounded by sanctions throughout the 1990s – is doing its bit to bring Iraq back to the international fold...