Central Iraq (Baghdad and Anbar)
Baghdad reported 31 violent incidents this week, which is on par with the current weekly average for 2012 and a significant reduction from last week’s figure of 48. This is a noted improvement following a month of well above average levels of violence. However, reporting from Baghdad is considered unreliable and can vary widely from week to week; as such it is not yet clear if the improved figures reflect actual security on the ground. Once again a substantial proportion of reporting this week involved targeted attacks on ISF and other government figures. While there were no reported mass casualty attacks, two vehicle car-bombs (VBIEDs) were reported, both in the Mansour district of western Baghdad. On 1 October the convoy of a Brigadier in the Ministry of Interior was targeted by a VBIED in and on 4 October a second VBIED was reported to have detonated in the vicinity of a transiting Private Security Detail (PSD), killing four civilians and wounded eleven in the area. It remains unclear if the attack was specifically targeted against the PSD, or coincidental in nature.
Anbar Province reported 13 incidents this week, which is a considerable reduction from last week’s figure of 28 and only just above the weekly average for 2012. As such this marks a return to what can be considered ‘normal” levels’ of activity in the province. The majority of incidents this week targeted ISF, with seven incidents involving explosive devices and two involving small arms fire. Typically ISF are targeted while on duty at checkpoints or patrols in Anbar, however off duty personnel were also targeted this week. This emphasis on targeted attacks on ISF locations and patrols reflects the insurgent strategy in Anbar over the course of 2012, where insurgents have focused on undermining and harassing the security forces. Once again, reporting was heavily concentrated in the far east of the province, particularly in Fallujah City, with six incidents involving explosive devices, two shooting incidents and a violent clash during a raid on an insurgent suspect’s home. There was also a VBIED find north-west of the city in Saqlawiyah.