Southern Iraq (South Central and South East Regions)
The South Central Region reported a total of six incidents during the period, the same figure as last week and below the 2012 weekly average of eight. This week incidents can be divided between Sunni insurgent attacks on Shia civilians close to the ethno-sectarian fault-line in Babil and tribal disputes, predominantly in the areas of Qadisiya, Wasit and Najaf. Two VBIEDs detonated in Babil on 8 November; the first was a device at a petrol station in central Hillah; the second close to a crowded restaurant and Shia mosque in Haswa, northern Babil. Given the locations of the attacks and apparent target-sets, these attacks were likely conducted by Sunni insurgents and intended to inflame sectarian tensions. Locals were reported to have clashed with security forces following the VBIED detonation in Haswa, angered at the time taken for emergency services to arrive at the scene. Other Incidents reported this week included a tribally related attack against the nephew of a politician south of Kut, a UVIED against an Iraqi policeman in Diwaniyah and an IED in Najaf.
The South East Region reported a total of eight incidents during the period, a marginal increase on last weeks figure and in line with the 2012 weekly average. As is the established norm, the majority of this week’s incidents occurred in Basra province with the exceptions of one in Maysan and two in Dhi Qar. All incidents were assessed as connected to either criminal activity or tribal disputes. There was a demonstration in Basra, protesting the announcement by central government that food rations were to be replaced by a cash payment, highlighting the potential for unrest in the province when basic entitlements are threatened. In Maysan, an IED was found in a park in central Amarah, and in Dhi Qar, a UVIED detonated under a policeman’s car.