Saturday, April 10, 2010

Dramatic Drop In Deaths In Mosul

Mosul, the provincial capital of Ninewa in northern Iraq, is per capita, the most violence city in Iraq. After deaths there almost doubled in February 2010, they dropped to the lowest level since the U.S. invasion in March. There were 66 deaths in the city in February, up from 38 in January. That was just around the average of 64.5 deaths per month for the last half of 2009. In March however, there were only 27 people killed, an average of 0.87 per day.

That was especially remarkable, because attacks were just about the same as previous months, while the number of wounded was the highest since August 2009. In March there were an average of 2.16 security incidents per day, compared to 2.17 in February and 1.90 in January. 125 people were wounded last month, an average of 4.03 per day. That contrasted to 3.89 wounded per day in February, 2.87 per day in January, and 3.48 in December. The last time that March’s average was surpassed was in August when 5.51 people were wounded a day. It appears that insurgents tried to harm as many people as they usually do since the number of attacks in March were consistent with previous months. Their plans seemingly went awry however, as they ended up wounding more people than killing them.

Attack and Casualty Statistics for Mosul
Attacks/Avg. Per Day 
Deaths/Avg. Per Day 
Wounded/Avg. Per Day 
Aug. 09 
Jan. 10

Breakdown Of Attacks/Incidents In Mosul - March 2010: 67
Drive by Shooting: 1
Kidnapping: 1
Sticky Bomb: 1
Assassination: 2
Shoot-out/Arrest: 4
Bombing: 4
Mortar Attack: 4+
Grenade Attack: 14+Armed Attack: 18
IED/Roadside Bomb: 18+

Violence in Mosul is notable because it lacks the large-scale bombings, which are common in Baghdad, but still ends up with the most casualties per capita of any major urban center in Iraq. Most of the attacks in Mosul are IEDs and roadside bombs, gunmen shooting individuals, and grenade attacks, the three most common forms of incidents in March. In comparison, there were only 3 large bombings in the city last month. Violence in Mosul is driven by the fact that it is the last urban stronghold of the insurgency. It’s likely to continue that way since militants play on the Arab-Kurd divide, which is the main dilemma facing Ninewa today.


Aswat al-Iraq, “1 soldier, 1 civilian wounded in blast western Mosul,” 3/10/10
- “2 civilians injured in Mosul blast,” 3/20/10
- “2 civilians killed in eastern Mosul,” 3/30/10
- “2 Iraqi soldiers wounded in Mosul blast,” 3/21/10
- “2 persons wounded by hand grenade in Mosul,” 3/31/10
- “2 policemen wounded in Mosul blast,” 3/21/10
- “2 soldiers wounded in attack on voting center in Mosul,” 3/2/10
- “2 wounded in blast targeting U.S. forces in Mosul,” 3/21/10
- “3 gunmen killed in blast west of Mosul,” 3/13/10
- “3 mortars hit Mosul,” 3/23/10
- “4 army personnel wounded in Mosul,” 3/1/10
- “5 soldiers wounded in twin blasts in Mosul,” 3/20/10
- “6 wounded in Mosul attack,” 3/3/10
- “7 injured in attack on voting center in Mosul,” 3/7/10
- “12 killed, 49 injured on special voting day,” 3/4/10
- “Army force arrests 4 gunmen in Mosul,” 3/28/10
- “Army forces free hostage, detain kidnappers,” 3/25/10
- “Blast kills civilian in Mosul,” 3/15/10
- “Bomb kills soldiers, wounds 3 in Mosul,” 3/19/10
- “Bomb wounds civilian in Mosul,” 3/30/10
- “Christian killed in Mosul,” 3/17/10
- “Civilian gunned down in Mosul,” 3/2/10
- “Civilian killed, contractor injured in Mosul,” 3/15/10
- “Civilian killed in Mosul attack,” 3/13/10
- “Civilian wounded in grenade blast in Mosul,” 3/14/10
- “Civilian wounded in IED blast in Mosul,” 3/28/10
- “Cop, gunman killed in central Mosul,” 3/9/10
- “Cop killed by sticky bomb in Mosul,” 3/3/10
- “Gunmen attack voting center in Mosul,” 3/4/10
- “Gunmen blew up tribal chief’s house in Mosul,” 3/28/10
- “Gunmen kill civilian in Mosul,” 3/22/10
- “Gunmen kill jail’s guard in Mosul,” 3/15/10
- “Gunmen shoot down aged man in Mosul,” 3/21/10
- “Gunmen shot, kill civilian in Mosul,” 3/9/10
- ‘Gunmen wound civilian in Mosul,” 3/19/10
- “Hand grenade kills civilian, injures 2 in Mosul,” 3/24/10
- “Hand grenade wounds cop in Mosul,” 3/20/10
- “Hand grenade wounds man, woman in Mosul,” 3/17/10
- “IED blast wounds policeman, child in Mosul,” 3/25/10
- “IED explodes near polling center, wounds 2 soldiers in Mosul,” 3/7/10
- “IED injures civilian, ex-officer’s house detonated in Mosul,” 3/24/10
- “IED targets house of ex-police director, wounds cop,” 3/10/10
- “IED wounds 5 in Mosul,” 3/24/10
- “Iraq soldier gunned down in Mosul,” 3/21/10
- “Iraqi forces kill al-Qaeda leader in Mosul,” 3/25/10
- “Mortar injures 3 in Mosul,” 3/3/10
- “Mortar wounds 7, including children, in Mosul,” 3/24/10
- “Mosque imam killed in Mosul,” 3/3/10
- “Mosque preacher killed in Mosul,” 3/14/10
- “Policeman wounded in grenade attack in Mosul,” 3/14/10
- “Roadside bomb wounds civilian in Mosul,” 3/15/10
- “Soldier killed in western Mosul,” 3/16/10
- “Soldier wounded in 2nd attack on voting center in Mosul,” 3/4/10
- “Soldier wounded in attack on Mosul,” 3/14/10
- “Thermal bomb injures cop, 2 children in Mosul,” 3/15/10
- “Trucker shot dead, son wounded in Mosul,” 3/18/10
- “U.S. forces kill gunman, wounds 2 in Mosul,” 3/26/10
- “Woman gunned down in Mosul,” 3/31/10
- “Woman gunned down inside her house in Mosul,” 3/18/10
- “Woman killed, 36 wounded in Mosul on election day-source,” 3/8/10
- “Woman, son wounded by hand grenade in Mosul,” 3/2/10


Don Cox said...

I think the numbers are too small for the month-to-month figures to be statistically significant. They are basically bumping along the bottom.

Joel Wing said...

With the new security situation in Iraq Mosul is the most violent city in the country. It has the highest per capital deaths of any city, and some months has more attacks than Baghdad. They are at the lowest rate since 2003 however.

Joel Wing said...


I stopped tracking attacks and casualties by province a little while ago, but the last time I did it was January 2010, so that might provide a little comparison. In that month Baghdad had the most attacks like usual with 50, causing 94 deaths and 318 wounded. Most of those came from a series of attacks on a Shiite festival and attacks on hotels. In comparison Ninews where Mosul is had 69 attacks, 42 deaths and 101 wounded. Anbar was a distant third with only 13 attacks, 17 deaths, and 48 wounded. Also not all incidents get reported as well, but those numbers give you a rough idea of what violence is like now. Baghdad and Mosul have almost all the attacks and casualties each month, and then there's a dramatic drop off in the other provinces.

amagi said...

There have been a number of high ranking Al Qaeda operatives recently killed and captured. Maybe it's degrading their capabilities in Mosul (finally). Or maybe they are relocating to Baghdad to make more mischief there.

Either way, these guys are incredibly tenacious.

Joel Wing said...


Yes, they captured the Al Qaeda emir of Mosul, killed his predecessor, and detained one of his deputies. They also killed the leader of Al Qaeda in northern Iraq. That happened in March and April.

Neither has appeared to effect attacks in Mosul yet. As I said, although the number of deaths saw a huge drop in March it wasn't from a lack of trying. Insurgents were still able to carry out the same number of attacks. Perhaps in a couple months we'll be able to see if there has been any decline after AQI suffered these losses.

Don Cox said...

"Either way, these guys are incredibly tenacious."

As the number of terrorists goes down, you are left with the hard core who are not going to change their behavior.

I think they are similar to pedophiles in this respect; and both types use modern communications to group together.

I'm actually quite liberal... said...

This is such a fantastic blog! I think a real test, re violence in Mosul, is the ability of the Iraqi army and police to secure the border.I think it's so outrageous that people are fund-raising on t.v in Syria in the name of the Ba'ath cause to "kill Americans" in Iraq when those "freedom fighters" will most likely find no Americans, just some AQI sending them to blow up a market. If they don't get killed first, or sent to some horrific jail. Someone needs to stop that ignorance for a safer Mosul...