Weekly Security Update 17 – 24 Oct 2013

As the reporting prior progressed several serious bomb attacks targeted towns in Nineveh and Baghdad provinces.

On 17 Oct multiple suicide bombings killed at least 80 people across Iraq.  Ten bombs exploded in primarily Shi’ite districts of the Iraqi capital late on Thursday, killing 44 people in all, with a particularly sad incident taking place when one blast occurred near an amusement park north of Baghdad’s Sadr City neighbourhood, killing six children.  Earlier in the day, a suicide bomber driving a truck packed with explosives blew himself up in a small village in the northern province of Nineveh, killing at least 15 Shabaks.  The village of Mwafaqiya, where the bomber struck, is home to many Shabak families who used to live in the provincial capital Mosul but fled the city after being threatened by militant groups.  Quite why attackers would target a small minority like the Shabaks in this manner is not well known but it is most likely part of a wider campaign by Sunni groups to blanket target the wider Shia diaspora or part of a local criminal or local clan revenge plan.

On Sunday at least 12 people were killed in a spate of suicide bomb attacks on the ISF and key government infrastructure across Baghdad as Sunni insurgents continued to place the Shia community under sustained pressure.  As the day progressed sporadic attacks followed with one particularly devastating attack involving a suicide bomber driving a minibus into a cafe in a mainly Shi’ite Muslim district of the Iraqi capital, which killed at least 38 people.

In what appears to be coordinated attacks in the town of Rawa, 260 km northwest of Baghdad, insurgents drove explosive laden vehicles in several sites killing several people.  One attacker drove a car to a checkpoint on the main road into Rawa and blew himself up, whilst another targeted a police station and a third the house of the mayor, seriously wounding him and killing at least three others.

Almost simultaneously, there was another attack by two suicide bombers wearing police uniforms, both of whom set off their explosive vests inside Rawa’s local council building, killing three people including the council’s deputy head.

In the final incident of the reporting period and at the same time as the Rawa attacks a suicide car bomber drove up and detonated his device close to a group of people who had gathered at the scene of an earlier, smaller explosion on the southern outskirts of Samarra, 100 km north of Baghdad.  This follow up attack came soon after a similar style attack against the compound of a senior police officer who survived the blast however six other members of his family were killed.

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