Weekly Security Update 24 - 31 July 2013

Violence tailed off during the latter part of the week however Sunday 28 July saw a fresh round of attacks along the Tigris River Valley as militants targeted Kurdish peshmerga forces in attacks that bore all the hallmarks of Sunni insurgents.   The attack took place in the centre of the ethnically mixed town of Tuz Khurmato, 170 km north of the capital Baghdad, in a notoriously unstable region over which both the central government and autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan continue to claim and dispute jurisdiction.

In typical fashion a suicide bomber driving a car packed with explosives blew himself up near a Kurdish security forces patrol killing at least eight of them in an attack that was also followed up with a multi weapons shoot.

Monday 26 July brought fresh levels of violence as multiple bombings left over 60 dead, predominantly in the southern Shia provinces.  Car bombs ripped through busy streets in predominantly Shi'ite areas in some of the deadliest actions this month.

The 17 blasts, which appeared to be coordinated, were concentrated on towns and cities in Iraq's mainly Shi'ite south, and districts of the capital where Shi'ites live.  In Baghdad's Shi'ite stronghold of Sadr city, police and witnesses said a minivan drew up to a group of men waiting by the side of the road for day work, and the driver told them to get in before detonating an explosive device in the vehicle.

At least 10 people were killed when two car bombs blew up near a bus station in the city of Kut, 150 km southeast of the capital; four more were killed in a blast in the town of Mahmoudiya, about 30 km south of Baghdad, and two bombs in Samawa, further south, killed two. The rest of the bombings took place across Baghdad, in the districts of Habibiya, Hurriya, Bayaa, Ur, Shurta, Kadhimiya, Risala, Tobchi and Abu Dsheer.

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