Does the Pentagon withold the announcement of troop deaths until the weekend?

Just what the title says. I put this in the GD forum because I don’t think there’s a definitive answer.

I’m aware of the dangers of selective memory, and I don’t see conspiracies everywhere, but I have noticed that I am frequently surprised by the announcement, usually late in the weekend, of US forces killed in Iraq. Here, from an AP story, is this Sunday’s announcement:

It almost seems timed to avoid being the top story on Monday.

There may be correlation without cause and effect of course, it could be the insurgents have day jobs and plan ambushes for the weekends, it could be that Iraqui troops have the weekends off and US forces pick up the slack, or it could be that I have more time on the weekends to read the news, and so am more apt to notice these stories.

Are there more troop deaths on the weekends, are more of them announced, or is it just random??

Those troops were killed over the weekend. Six of them died on Easter.

Any more questions?

Centcom sometimes skips a day or two. The regular press reports are more fitful. For consistent day-by-day, month-by-month tallies, look to

Thanks for the answer Squink , along with an excellent reference.

I note that since the first of the year there have been 293 fatalities. Since Saturday and Sunday are 28.6% of the week, you would expect the same percentage of fatalities, all other things being equal. Instead we see 38.2% of the fatalities on the weekends, 28 more deaths than would have been expected.

Hey, but that’s a small sample. If we look at the last 1000 casualties, taking us back to April 2, 2006, we see the same effect. 357 fatalities, 35.7% of the total, take place on Saturday or Sunday, 70 more deaths than would be expected.

Why are weekends so dangerous? Saturday is slightly more so than Sunday, with 186 of the last 1000 fatalities on Saturday, and 171 on Sunday, Friday is the safest day, with fewer than 100 fatalities.

Day------ Fatalities
Monday------- 129
Tuesday------ 117
Wednesday------ 151
Thursday------ 148
Friday------ 98
Saturday------ 186
Sunday------ 171

Mr. Moto , based on the data, there could be a reasonable supposition that something is suppressing the fatalities on Friday, and augmenting it on Saturday and Sunday. I’m not grinding an ax here, if you look at my posting history I’m not a big participant in the Iraq threads, I’m just curious.

As I said in the OP, it’s could be related to insurgent activity patterns, they may have day jobs, or the Iraqi army and police may be less active on the weekends, but that doesn’t explain the decrease on Friday.

Friday is the Muslim “equivalent” of Christian Sunday or Jewish Saturday - a holy day with higher, more frequent mosque attendance, at least in the places I’ve been. It wouldn’t surprise me if it was the same in Iraq.

Since Friday’s sermons could be quite firey (if people like al Sadr are the ones doing the preaching), it wouldn’t surprise me that there are more attacks immediately after, either. Young men get all hyped up after Friday sermon, plan an attack and execute over the next couple days. Seems sensible.

Friday = day of prayer in Islam?

That’s probably it. It’s a logical supposition, and it explains the data. I never thought of the religious connection. My brain doesn’t seem to be wired up that way.