AKE has compiled statistics covering violence in Iraq over the course of 2011. The average week saw 56 attacks, many of which included bombings targeting civilians on an indiscriminate basis. The Iraqi security forces also suffered numerous attacks and will likely remain a major focus for militant groups now that the US military has withdrawn from the country. A total of 1716 explosive attacks took place, with 78 of them involving suicide bombers. Eighty-three people were also kidnapped, with many remaining in captivity or unaccounted for.
AKE also documented at least 2893 fatalities over the year. However, the true figure is almost certain to be much higher. AKE figures are collated on a ‘spot’ basis, i.e. they are taken within 24 hours of a violent incident and do not take into account those who have died later from their injuries. The monitoring agency Iraq Body Count recorded a rise in civilian casualties in 2011, with 4,059 documented fatalities over the course of the year.
Between October and December Baghdad was the most violent part of the country. The capital saw an average of 2-3 attacks per day, accounting for 38 per cent of all the violence in the country over the period. The next most hazardous province was Ninawa where the city of Mosul saw an average of 1-2 attacks per day. Other violent areas included the volatile and socially-mixed province of Ta’mim (Kirkuk) as well as the central provinces of Anbar, Babil, Diyala and Salah ad-Din.
The Kurdish provinces were very quiet, although they saw a small number of incidents, including cross border military operations by Iran and Turkey and a rise in localised social tensions in certain areas. The south of Iraq also saw very little violence. The quietest provinces in the whole of the country were Muthanna and Najaf which saw no major incidents of violence at all in the last quarter of the year. Even the oil-rich and previously troubled provinces of Basrah and Maysan were far quieter than their counterparts in the centre and north of the country.
The Energy Sector
Such improvement in the southern region bodes well for the numerous companies looking to do business in the area in 2012. However, with ongoing violence, including a significant bombing in central Basrah the day before an oil and gas conference last year, security will likely remain a major consideration over the coming months for the industry.
Planning for 2012
AKE maintains a real-time security, political and travel risk report on Iraq, which readers can purchase here. It contains risk assessment material, projections on how the security and political risk environment is likely to evolve over the coming year, travel guidelines and advice, as well as an archived database of analysis on the country stretching back to 2003. You can also obtain a free trial of our emailed intelligence by filling in your details here.