Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Attacks down but Iraq in 'low-level war'
by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Jan 1, 2013

Violence in Iraq dropped in 2012, data released Tuesday showed, but insurgents proved they were still capable of mounting waves of attacks and a watchdog warned the country was still in a "low-level war".

The warnings, which come after the first full year since American forces completed their withdrawal in December 2011, were punctuated by a series of nationwide shootings and bombings on New Year's Eve in which 28 people were killed and nearly 100 wounded.

The latest violence came just days ahead of a major Shiite commemoration ceremony, and after more than a week of non-stop anti-government rallies in Sunni-majority areas where demonstrators allege targeting of their community by Iraq's Shiite-led authorities.

A total of 144 people were killed across Iraq last month, including 40 policemen and 15 soldiers, and 360 others were wounded, according to figures compiled by AFP based on reports from security and medical officials.

The monthly death toll was near 2012's low of 136 set in October.

And data released by Iraq's ministries of health, interior and defence said 2,174 people were killed throughout last year, sharply lower than in previous years, particularly compared to the height of the country's brutal sectarian war from 2005 to 2008 when tens of thousands were killed.

But Britain-based monitor group Iraq Body Count put the overall death toll at 4,471, more than double the official figures, though the last three months of 2012 represented a record low.

It warned in its annual report that "the country remains in a state of low-level war ... with a 'background' level of everyday armed violence punctuated by occasional larger-scale attacks designed to kill many people at once."

"2012 has been more consistent with an entrenched conflict than with any transformation in the security situation for Iraqis in the first year since the formal withdrawal of US troops," it said.

US troops withdrew in December 2011, though a small contingent of around 150 soldiers remains as part of a bilateral agreement to help train and supply Iraq's security forces.

Baghdad's police and military are widely agreed to be largely able to maintain internal security, but are not expected to be fully capable of defending Iraq's borders, airspace and waters until 2020.

In a sign insurgents were still capable of carrying out deadly nationwide attacks, a series of shootings and bombings in the north, centre, and south of the country killed 28 people and wounded 96 others on Monday.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but Sunni militants such as Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq regularly carry out attacks to destabilise the government and re-ignite communal conflict.

Much of Monday's violence targeted Shiite pilgrims, ahead of Arbaeen commemoration ceremonies due this week.

In the deadliest single attack, seven people -- three women, two children and two men -- were killed when three houses were blown up in the town of Mussayib, south of Baghdad, police and a medic said. Four others were wounded.

The victims were apparently targeted because they were Shiites, the officials said.

Attacks on pilgrims embarking on the traditional walk to the holy shrine city of Karbala for Arbaeen commemorations also killed one person and wounded 19 others.

Arbaeen, which this year falls on Thursday, marks 40 days after the Ashura anniversary commemorating the slaying of Imam Hussein, one of Shiite Islam's most revered figures, by the armies of the caliph Yazid in 680 AD.

The violence comes after anti-government protesters blocked a key highway to Syria and Jordan, amid political tensions between Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and a secular Sunni-backed party in his fragile national unity government.


Related Links
Iraq: The first technology war of the 21st century

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iraq PM offers prisoner release as demos continue
Baghdad (AFP) Jan 1, 2013
Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki looked to head off protests in Sunni areas of the country on Tuesday with a prisoner release even as he threatened to use state resources to "intervene" to end the rallies. The move came as powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr voiced support for the demonstrations and predicted an impending "Iraqi spring" as ongoing rallies blocked off a key trade route connect ... read more

NATO to deploy Patriots in Turkey over next few weeks

U.S. seeks double Israel missile funding

NATO chief denounces Iran's allegations on Patriots

Russia shuts down Azerbaijan radar station: Baku

Thatcher 'warned France to cut off Exocets in Falklands war'

Raytheon awarded $254.6 million for Tomahawk missile

NATO says Syria regime firing 'Scud-style missiles'

Raytheon awarded contract for SM-2 production

Japan mulls US spy drones for marine surveillance: report

Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology

US drone strike kills four in Pakistan: officials

Japan security firm to offer private drone

China opens its version of GPS to public

Raytheon's US Navy satellite terminals reach Full Rate Production milestone

General Dynamics' 30,000th Combat Search and Rescue Radio Goes to Work for USAF

Europe launches major British military satellite

Fused Reality: Blending Reality and Simulation

Russia may soon draft new law on military service for women

Supacat opens Australian design facility

NGC Provides Attitude Heading Reference For Sikorsky's S-76D Helicopter

US military braces for sweeping budget cuts

Saudi mulls German tank deal: report

Arabian monarchies to set up joint military command

Russia to triple state defense order by 2015

New York Times says reporter forced to leave China

Japan's PM seeks security ties with Australia, India: report

Chinese say country still not 'world power': poll

Three China ships in waters around disputed islands: Japan

Britain to fund graphene research efforts

Synthetic and biological nanoparticles combined to produce new metamaterials

Nanocrystals Not Small Enough to Avoid Defects

Nature Materials Study: Boosting Heat Transfer With Nanoglue

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement