Levels of violence fell slightly in Iraq last week. At least 43 people were killed and 125 injured in nationwide incidents. A total of 43 bomb attacks left 24 people dead and 106 injured. There were no suicide bombings recorded although a number of militants were killed whilst handling explosive devices that detonated prematurely. A rise in the number of small arms fire attacks left 16 people dead and 19 injured. There were at least four recorded indirect fire attacks (rockets and mortars) but they left no casualties and only limited damage.
Ninawa province suffered a large proportion of the week’s attacks. The city of Mosul and some of its outlying towns saw more violence than most other parts of the country. Ta’mim province on the other hand saw a slight reduction in violence, although several suspected militants were arrested in and around Kirkuk. Militants also blew up a mobile telephone tower near the city, highlighting the ongoing security problems facing the telecommunications industry in the country. In Kurdistan the Turkish military attacked suspected PKK sites in the normally peaceful province of Dahuk, although no casualties or damage were reported.
There was a rise in violence in Diyala province last week which saw three times as many attacks as the previous week. Conditions were particularly hostile around Ba’qubah, although other towns such as Khalis, Jalawlah, Khan Bani Sa’ad and Muqdadiyah saw a number of additional incidents. Baghdad was relatively quiet, with few attacks, even for the duration of the UN Security Council + Germany conference on the Iranian nuclear programme. However, mortar attacks on the International/Green Zone and a bombing along the airport road highlight the fact that even areas normally considered ‘secure’ in the capital remain at risk of militant and terrorist activity.
The southern provinces remain quiet, although concerns are mounting over the prospect of increased tensions between local militia groups and the authorities. On 25 May three bombs detonated around mosques in the province, two in Basrah city centre and one in Zubayr. A child was injured in one of the blasts but they were more likely aimed at causing intimidation rather than casualties amongst local residents, whilst embarrassing the security forces.
John Drake is a senior risk consultant with AKE, a British risk mitigation company working in Iraq since 2003. You can access AKE’s intelligence website Global Intake here, and you can obtain a free trial of AKE’s Iraq intelligence reports here.