Levels of violence fell slightly in Iraq last week. At least 27 people were killed and 73 injured in nationwide incidents. A total of 19 non-suicide bomb attacks left 16 people dead and 55 injured. This constitutes a lower than normal figure for the country, although the decline is likely to be temporary. Two further suicide bombings in Anbar province and Baghdad left three people dead and 11 injured. Small arms fire left five people dead and five injured. Indirect fire attacks (rockets and mortars) left two people injured.
Violence was concentrated in Mosul last week. Kirkuk was comparatively quieter, but conditions are still tense in the city amid ongoing discussions over its administrative future. A number of bodies have been recovered in the wider province of Ta’mim which could indicate an increase in inter-communal violence in the mixed area.
Baghdad, Ba’qubah and the east of Anbar province saw more violence than most other parts of the country last week. However, this has been the case for some time and last week actually saw a slight decline in the overall number of incidents taking place in the region. Nonetheless, organisations still need to exercise extreme caution. At the time of writing militants are reported to have been thwarted in an attempt to blow up an oil pipeline in Hadithah district, while a number of suspected members of al-Qaeda in Iraq were arrested in Kut on 16 May, indicating that the group still has a notable presence, even in predominantly Shi’ah and normally fairly quiet parts of the region.
The south of the country was quiet last week with a fall in the number of politically motivated intimidation attacks. Nonetheless, tensions between rival Shi’ah political organisations persist. A policeman was also targeted in a bomb attack in Maysan province on 16 May.
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.