Central Iraq (Baghdad and Anbar)
Baghdad reported 24 incidents during the period, while an increase on last weeks figure this week’s count still sits below the 2012 weekly average of 30 and well below the high levels of violence seen over the summer months. This reduction reflects a general improvement in security across the northern and central regions of Iraq since October; more likely due to the temporary depletion of insurgent resources rather than any fundamental degradation of their capabilities. The improved security picture this week was seen across most areas of the capital and its environs, with the notable exception of Taji to the north of Baghdad where three VBIEDs detonated on 5/6 November targeting ISF and civilians queuing outside the Taji army base, killing at least 20. Within Baghdad, VBIEDs detonated against a Shia mosque in the east of the city and in the Amil neighbourhood in the southwest of the city. A VBIED was also reported to have detonated in the predominantly Sunni town of Mahmudiyah to the south of the capital, no casualties were reported.
Anbar reported a total of 12 incidents during the period, a marginal decrease on last weeks figure and on-par with the 2012 weekly average. Eastern Anbar witnessed the most activity, predominantly in the areas of Fallujah and al-Amiriyah to the southeast of Fallujah city. The towns of Hit and Haqlaniya along the Euphrates River in the north of the province also experienced incidents. While explosive devices remain the most common attack method, this week saw VBIEDs in Fallujah and al-Amiriyah and while most attacks targeted ISF, there were two UVIED incidents deliberately targeting civilians. ISF in Anbar were reported to have increased their security posture, especially around places of worship, in response to a specific threat warning that Friday prayers on 9 November would be targeted. The bodies of two men with their hands and legs bound were found in an area to the east of Fallujah and another body displaying signs of torture and stab wounds was found in a rural area in the east of the province.