Video: Summer slowdown?

msnbc.com
updated 6/9/2005 2:19:34 PM ET 2005-06-09T18:19:34

Temperatures rose into triple digits this week as summer has arrived in Baghdad.  With the increasing heat has come a decrease in activity from insurgents.  Is the weather a reason for the lull or are the insurgents just waiting out another attack? 

MSNBC's Amy Robach spoke with correspondent Jim Maceda, from Baghdad on Monday to discuss the lull in violence.

To read an excerpt of their conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the interview, click on the link above.

Amy Robach:  Jim, give us a sense of what things are live over there.

Jim Maceda:  There is a sense of lull, a three or four-day lull in violence. There is no question about it.  That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that things are quiet. Even this morning, there was a failed suicide bombing where the suicide bomber died. There were also several Iraqis who were injured or wounded in over the past 24 hours. 

A series of border attacks in the Northern city of Mosul and a couple a drive by shootings in Baghdad have left a least nine individuals dead but that's a far cry from the 30, 40 or even 50 killed in the days we have been reporting here for all of the month of May and into June.

Why is this happening? You mentioned the stifling heat. It was 110 degrees yesterday.  That may be having an effect.  It may also be a strategic break taken by the insurgents simply waiting out this wave of current operations or it could just be the effectiveness of these operations. 

The U.S. military told us yesterday that Operation Lightening now eight or nine days old has already bagged at least 900 suspected insurgents and that's just in the Baghdad area.  They also captured some 40 weapon caches.

Outside Baghdad, that enormous underground bunker, where 50 weapons caches were found, the size of two football fields, that has sophisticated equipment, night vision goggles and even fresh food in an underground kitchen, suggesting that insurgents were using that.

On another front, the government is now pushing for accelerating the trial of Saddam Hussein.  The government said it wants to get that trial through in the next two months.  The reason for that, it believes that the more convincing and faster you get a trial out of that symbol of insurgency, the more wind from the sails you take from that insurgency. 

MSNBC Live with Amy Robach and Randy Meier can be seen weekdays from 9 a.m.-Noon.

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