Levels of violence fell last week amid the extensive security measures implemented for the Arab League Summit. Nonetheless, some attacks still took place, highlighting the fact that the measures at the disposal of the Iraqi authorities remain far from exhaustive. Normal patterns in militancy are also likely to resume once the security measures currently in place around the capital have been relaxed.
At least 29 people were killed and 22 injured in nationwide incidents last week. A total of nine bomb attacks left 12 people dead and 19 injured. There were no confirmed suicide bombings. A fall in the number of small arms fire attacks left 15 people dead and three injured. There were two indirect fire attacks (rockets and mortars) recorded in the capital but they failed to cause any casualties.
Geographical Distribution of Violence
While much of last week’s violence was concentrated around Baghdad and the districts surrounding the capital, the most violent part of the country was the northern province of Ninawa, which saw several attacks around Mosul and Hammam Ali. The Turkish air force also bombed suspected PKK targeted in the Soran district of Kurdistan but no casualties or damage to private property were reported. The south of the country was very quiet.
Trends in March
Meanwhile ministry sources reported that March saw the lowest fatality figure in the country of any month since the 2003 invasion of the country. At least 112 people were killed, including 78 civilians, 22 police officers and 12 soldiers, over the course of the month. In February the figure was 150 fatalities, and the drop can be part attributed to the heightened levels of security imposed around the Arab League Summit. With such measures set to be relaxed this weekend the fatality figure for April may rise once again.
The First Quarter of 2012
AKE is compiling statistical data on trends in violence in the first quarter of the year. We will publish a summary of our figures on Iraq Business News so please continue to monitor the site for details. You can also access our latest travel safety advice and security risk analysis on the Iraq page of AKE’s intelligence website Global Intake.
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.