Southern Iraq (South Central and South East Regions)
The South Central Region reported ten incidents during the period, an increase on last week’s figure of eight and above the 2012 weekly average. While incident levels in the southern half of Iraq remain lower than those seen in the central and northern half of the country they did witness a rise this week, largely due to the targeting of Shia pilgrims during Ashura. ISF security operations were again evident this week with a number of operations that detained terrorism suspects in known insurgent operating areas including Jurf al Sakr and Musayyib. Despite these operations, insurgents still managed to mount a number of attacks against Shia pilgrims travelling to Karbala. Musayyib experienced much of this violence, with an IED attack near a Shia procession on 22 November, and the disarming of an IED and three grenades the following day. In Haswa, northern Babil, the organiser of a Shia procession was killed by an IED outside his house and in Iskandariya, an IED detonated at a rest-stop. There were also three IED detonations and a SAF attack in Babil province, and an IED find in Suwayra in Wasit province.
The South East Region reported a total of five incidents during the period, a significant decrease on last week’s figure of twelve and below the 2012 weekly average of eight. Incidents in the South East Region are generally related to familial/tribal disputes, or criminal activity. The quiet reporting period is likely to be linked to the increased security for Ashura. Four of this week’s incidents occurred in Basra province with one in Maysan. The deadliest incident was the double murder of two sisters in an honour killing in Basra. In the south of Basra City, a small IED or possibly a ‘sound bomb’ detonated outside a civilian’s residence, reportedly attributed to ‘unreligious practices’ being conducted at the house during Muharram. The incident in Maysan involved the discovery of over fifty grenades by the side of the road, which were subsequently seized by ISF.