Weekly Security Update 21 – 29 August 2013

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By Tom Walker, Director, Assaye Risk

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

Iraq, especially Baghdad and surrounding provinces, bore the brunt of an especially violent week as a re-supplied and resurgent ISI continue to pressurize the armed forces, the government and secular Sunni’s with a deadly bombing campaign that the ISF seem unable to combat effectively.

Baghdad of all the provinces has had a particularly traumatic week with multiple well-coordinated bombings and shootings taking place during Friday and Saturday of last week.

On Friday and car bomb killed three and wounded 17 outside a mosque in Northeastern Baghdad and in a separate attack, a bomb killed at least 7 guests at a wedding party in a Shi’ite town north of Baghdad when a suicide bomber posing as a member of the extended family detonated a large device inside a wedding tent during celebrations.

The violence continued through Saturday into Sunday with the focal point remaining very much in and around Baghdad.  25 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in Baghdad when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives inside a busy cafe near a park popular with families and shoppers.

It was one of the worst attacks in this district in recent weeks or since suicide bombers hit the same district two months ago, targeting a Shi’ite mosque and killing 29 worshippers during noon prayers.

Since the start of 2013, bomb attacks by mainly Sunni insurgents have increasingly targeted cafes and other places where families gather, as well as the usual targets of military facilities and checkpoints.  This forms a central part of their efforts to legitimise their actions in the eyes of the Sunni community, and to attract and convince moderates that despite what the Iraqi government may say about protecting the interests of all Iraqi’s, regardless of which sectarian community they may come from they remain unable to do so.

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