Southern Iraq (South Central and South East Regions)
This weeks incident levels in the South Central Region increased to 11, compared to seven for the previous period. This weeks figure is slightly up on the 2012 weekly average of nine. Babil has been the most active province in the South Central region, with the northern areas of Iskandariya, Jurf al-Sakhr and Mussayib experiencing most incidents. This week recorded four IED detonations (three against civilians and one against the Iraqi police); and three reports of IED finds, including an incident involving four IEDs being emplaced around the residence of a policeman. Five incidents of SAF were reported, two of which involved Iraqi political figures, including an attempted assassination attack against an independent MP in Wasit, Kadhim al-Siyadi. The post-Eid reduction in security posture has likely been the reason for a reduced number of reported anti-terrorism operations. This week’s increase in activity follows a relatively calm two weeks where activity has been subdued throughout the entire South Central region. This was largely due to the increase in ISF security posture throughout Ramadan, and the more aggressive anti-terrorism operations being conducted since the change of leadership in the higher echelons of Babil’s security apparatus.
The South East Region reported a total of ten incidents during this reporting period, a slight reduction on last week s figure of 12, but still above the 2012 weekly average of seven. Only two incidents involving explosive devices were reported. A locally constructed IED detonated outside of the house of a member of the High Islamic Council in Basra, and an unknown explosion occurred in Fahiya in Basra city. Three reported SAF incidents occurred in Nasiriyah, which were likely related to a family/tribal dispute. For a second consecutive week there were several murders reported in Basra city, which again were probably criminal or family related. Separately, two brothers arrested on Article 4 (Terrorism) charges confessed to killing two men in 2011, the victims bodies were subsequently recovered by ISF. A boy was also reported to have been kidnapped and then released in connection with a tribal dispute.