Central Iraq (Baghdad and Anbar)
Baghdad reported 45 violent incidents this week, which is some way above the current weekly average for 2012 of 30. This increase was despite a quieter week in much of the rest of Iraq, and is primarily due to a series of high-profile attacks in the capital during Eid al-Adha period. This week’s activity saw a shift in focus, with attack not only directed against ISF and government targets, but also directed towards Shia civilian targets. There were several indirect fire (IDF) attacks reported in the capital on 23 October, apparently targeting the western Shia neighbourhoods of Kadhimiyah and Shula, the later also being the target of a VBIED attacks on the same day. IDF was also reported against an ISF checkpoint in Abu Ghraib and in the Amiriyah area and the north-eastern district of Sha’ab. Another wave of attacks occurred on the 26 and 27 October. On the evening of 27 October, two VBIEDs detonated in the Shia area of Sadr city, killing nine and injuring 32. Shia civilians were targeted again on 28 October by a VBIED which killed ten and injured 28 in Kadhimiyah, near to the shrine of Imam al-Kadhim. In all four attacks were reported in the area within the space of a week, it is almost certain that the attacks were linked to the targeting of Shia civilians during Eid al-Adha. An under vehicle IED (UVIED) was also reported to have detonated under a minibus carrying Iranian pilgrims travelling to Samarra as it passed through the Sunni area of Taji to the north of Baghdad. The attack killed five and injured 12. In the Mushahada area to the north, seven employees of the Ministry of Industry and Minerals were ambushed and killed by gunmen as they were travelling to work.
Anbar reported a total of seven incidents during the reporting period, a slight decrease from last week’s figure and below the 2012 weekly average of 11. Incident levels in Anbar have been volatile in recent months, but have remained relatively low for the past three weeks. This should not be taken at face value and may reflect a reduction in reporting rather than an actual lower level of insurgent activity. The majority of this week’s reporting emanated from the Fallujah city area and its surrounding towns. There was a high profile VBIED attack targeting the office of the Fallujah city Finance Minister, which killed four guards and a civilian. A number of suspects were subsequently arrested in follow-up operations. A UVIED injured an Awakening leader and killed a civilian as they travelled past a popular market in central Fallujah. An insurgent was also reported to have been arrested attempting to plant an IED in central Fallujah and ISF carried out a controlled detonation of a VBIED in the town of Karama to the north-east of Fallujah. IDF was reported to have targeted a checkpoint in the town of Ameriyah, 20km south of Fallujah. The Iraqi Army was reported to have clashed with insurgents attempting to cross into Syria in the area of the border town of al Qa’im.