Southern Iraq (South Central and South East Regions)
The South Central Region reported four incidents during the period, half the 2012 weekly average of eight. All violent incidents during the period were concentrated in northern parts of Wasit and Babil Provinces, which have historically been the most active areas of the South Central Region. In Babil there were two explosive attacks on ISF and one shooting incident targeting a civilian. Targeted attacks on ISF are usual in northern Babil and most likely reflect the continued existence of operative Sunni Arab insurgent networks intent on undermining governance in the province. In Wasit, there was a single shooting incident in which an ISF patrol was targeted; there were no reported incidents elsewhere in the South Central Region. There was a similar meeting in Babil this week of tribal sheikhs and representatives of the Ministry of Interior to that seen in Anbar, which may hold similar hopes for improved security over the longer term.
The South East Region reported six incidents during the period, which is on par with the 2012 weekly average of seven. Once again the majority of incidents were focused in Basra Province. Most notable were the assassination of a civilian interpreter and the detonation of a ‘sound-bomb’ outside the home of a sheikh of the Quraish tribe in Basra City. There was also another ‘sound-bomb’ detonated outside the headquarters of the Fudhala in Maysan (the Fudhala is the religious foundation of the Fadhila Party). Sound-bombs are used as a mean of intimidation with some frequency in the South East Region, and in Basra Province in particular. Some reports have suggested that there has recently been an increase in politically motivated incidents in Basra ahead of next year’s provincial elections, and it is possible that these attacks are part of the same dynamic. There were no reported violent incidents elsewhere in the region.