Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Google Was Making A Space Elevator And A Hoverboard, But Couldn't Get Them To Work

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bitter pill to swallow

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Investors take fright over Google results

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism (part 2)

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Rwandan singer amongst terror plot suspects

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

  • Algeria heads to the polls: ‘This election has nothing to do with us’

    Read more

  • Frantic search for survivors of sunken South Korea ferry

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine to begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Real Madrid beat old foes Barcelona to lift Copa del Rey

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

Middle east

July saw Iraq’s deadliest month in two years

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-08-02

July was Iraq’s bloodiest month in almost two years, official figures released on Wednesday confirmed, noting that 325 people were killed and another 697 were wounded in attacks nationwide.

AFP - July was the deadliest month in Iraq in almost two years, with 325 people killed in attacks, official figures released on Wednesday showed, and included the deadliest day here since December 2009.

Analysts pointed to political tensions inside Iraq and instability in neighbouring Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad's forces are fighting an uprising now in its 17th month, as potential causes of the spike in violence.

The statistics compiled by the health, interior and defence ministries showed that 325 people -- 241 civilians, 40 police and 44 soldiers -- were killed nationwide during July.

Another 697 people -- 480 civilians, 122 police and 95 soldiers -- were wounded. It was the highest monthly toll given by the government since August 2010, when figures showed 426 people killed and 838 wounded in attacks.

The previous highest official toll this year was for January, when government figures showed 151 Iraqis killed and 321 wounded.

Government figures are usually lower than those given by other sources, but the July toll was higher than a tally kept by AFP based on reports from security and medical officials.

While violence has decreased from its peak in 2006-2007, attacks still occur almost daily.

Of the 31 days in July, there were attacks on 27 of them.

The July 23 violence, in which some 259 people were also wounded in attacks across the country, was the deadliest single day of violence in Iraq since 126 people were killed and hundreds wounded on December 8, 2009.

The wave of violence consisted of at least 29 separate attacks in 19 cities, with most concentrated in Baghdad and areas to its north.

Two days later, Al-Qaeda front group the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), claimed the attacks, saying they marked the launch of a new campaign during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

"As part of the new military campaign aimed at recovering territory given up by the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI), the war ministry has sent its sons and the mujahedeen on a sacred offensive during the month of Ramadan," the group said.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq is regarded by Iraqi officials as significantly weaker than at the peak of its strength in 2006 and 2007, but it is still capable of spectacular mass-casualty attacks across the country.

"The reasons behind the escalation of violence in the country are political, security and strategic," and linked to the conflict in Syria, said Ali al-Haidari, an Iraq analyst and specialist in security and strategic issues.

"The crisis in Syria has intensified between the regime and the armed groups, and these groups are made up of what is called the Free Syria Army, and also of members of the Al-Qaeda organisation," Haidari said.

The conflict has "resulted in the existence of a space for the Al-Qaeda organisation for movement between Iraq and Syria, and the organisation is breathing more freely," he said.

John Drake, a security analyst with AKE Group, pointed to hot summer temperatures making it more difficult for security forces to remain vigilant all day, and broader issues such as the departure of US troops at the end of 2011, domestic political tensions, and Syria.

"Syria presents a real opportunity to terrorists. The lack of authority in large swathes of the country could provide these groups with extensive opportunity to consolidate their strength and launch attacks in the wider region," Drake said by email.
 

Date created : 2012-08-01

  • IRAQ

    Al Qaeda claims responsibility for deadly attacks in Iraq

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Iraq hit by deadly sundown car bombings

    Read more

  • Iraq

    Dozens killed in Iraqi bomb blasts

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)