Poll: Iraqis feeling better about security

March 16, 2009 at 8:25 AM

BAGHDAD, March 16 (UPI) -- Iraqis say they feel much better about the security situation in their country, a poll indicates.

In a marked shift since the last survey carried out by the BBC, ABC News and Japan's NHK network in March 2008, 85 percent of respondents said security in Iraq was either "very good" or "quite good," up 23 percentage points from a year earlier, the BBC reported Monday.

Some 52 percent said security had improved in the last year, up 16 points from 2008, while 8 percent said it was worse, compared with 26 percent who said in 2008 that security was worse than it was in 2007.

Differences in perceptions persist in the responses of Sunni and Shiite respondents, with majority Shiites continuing to view Iraq in a more upbeat way, the BBC said. But the new poll also showed a pronounced shift in Sunni opinion toward a more optimistic view, with a 16-percent increase among those Sunnis who say their lives are going very well or quite well.

A total of 2,228 Iraqis were questioned across all 18 provinces in February, with a margin of error 2.5 percentage points, the BBC reported.

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