Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Iraq Security Weekly Roundup week #29

There was a fall in the number of attacks reported in Iraq last week. At least 130 people were killed and 402 injured in nationwide incidents.

However, while this is a reduction from the previous week, overall levels of violence remain very high in the country. Last week's fatality figure is well above average.

Violence was concentrated around Mosul, Kirkuk and the wider area surrounding Baghdad (especially in Fallujah, Ba'qubah and Muqdadiyah districts).

There were additional incidents reported around Basrah in the south, while clusters were also reported around Tuz Khurmatu and Shirqat in the north.

A total of 57 non-suicide bomb attacks left 58 people dead and 205 injured, a high figure for the country.

At least 10 additional suicide bombings left 29 more people dead and 155 injured. This is also a very high number, possibly linked to the belief amongst some radical Islamists that the holy month of Ramadan is ideally suited to martyrdom.

Small arms attacks left 30 people dead and 18 injured. A rise in indirect fire attacks (rockets and mortars) also left eight people dead and 24 injured.

On 21 July militants also conducted two complex attacks against prisons in Abu Ghraib and Taji, both in the outskirts of Baghdad, in an attempt to free prisoners held at the institutions. Reports differ as to the number of inmates released during the deadly attacks but several suspected members of al-Qaeda-affiliated organisations could be among the escapees.

Source: AKE Group

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

#Iraq violence escalates

Levels of violence have risen consistently in Iraq over recent months. AKE documented at least 1,090 separate violent incidents between April and June, averaging at around 12 per day.

This is an increase from the first quarter of the year (January-March), which saw at least 879 separate attacks. What is particularly noteworthy, however, is that both the first and second quarters of this year saw more violent incidents than any quarter in 2012.

According to AKE's Iraq specialist John Drake the intensification of attacks over the last six months is very worrying.

"This is a very sustained deterioration, which is more concerning than some of the spikes in violence we have seen over recent years.”

AKE believes that levels of violence have risen because of social tensions on the ground.

"There is rising animosity amongst the Sunni community towards the predominantly Shi'ah government, while radical Islamist terrorists have increased the pace of their attacks, in part to try and capitalise on the public mood and to gain support from the Sunni population.”

AKE raised the risk rating for Iraq in May after a deterioration in security conditions, particularly in the central provinces. This came after the security forces stormed an anti-government protest camp in Ta'mim province in April. The incident left several people dead and provoked a violent backlash by armed residents of the central region. 

Source: AKE