Friday, June 11, 2010

Casualties Climbing In Iraq, But Still Below 2009 Levels


May 2010 saw a slight increase in deaths across Iraq. Iraq's ministries for example, recorded 328 killed in April, compared to 337 in May. Iraq Body Count has shown a steady rise in deaths since the beginning of the year with 258 in January, 296 in February, 311 in March, 376 in April, and 395 in May. Only the Associated Press showed a decline in casualties in May, as they have continued with the up and down pattern that was set last year with 177 killed in January, 255 in February, 230 in March, 321 in April, and 278 in May.

The number of large bombings also went up in May. There were 18 last month, causing 182 deaths and over 824 wounded. In comparison, there were 11 mass casualty bombings in April leading to 172 killed, and 460 wounded. Many believed that the large number of bombings in May was a reaction to the deaths of Al Qaeda's top two leaders. The organization wanted to show that it was still relevant after its losses by increasing its operations. Whether those can be sustained into June is an open question, since at the end of 2009 they were only able to carry out their large bombings in Baghdad every other month.

When the statistics of all four organizations that track Iraqi deaths are averaged out, they still show that deaths are rising and falling each month, but they are increasing slightly. In January there were an average of 6.1 deaths per day. That went up to 10.1 per day in February, dropped to 8.7 per day in March, before going back up again to 10.7 in April and 10.3 in May. Despite the rising casualties, they are still below 2009 levels. There were an average of 10.2 Iraqis killed per day in the last five months of 2009, compared to 9.2 per day in the first five months of 2010.

Overall deaths in Iraq are still down to their lowest levels since the 2003 invasion. Most of the insurgency has switched sides, and Al Qaeda in Iraq has lost its standing with the Sunni population. The Mahdi Army and the Special Groups are hardly active, and Iran is no longer emphasizing its military policy in Iraq. That being said there are still attacks everyday in Iraq, and the country faces the largest threat of terrorism in the world. That has kept most of the country's displaced and refugees away from their homes. Despite the improvements in Iraq's security situation, it still faces many serious problems.

Monthly Death Counts

Month Iraq Body CountIcasualties Iraqi MinistriesAssociated Press
Avg. Death Per Day
Aug. 09 
585 
439 
456 
425 
15.3 
Sep. 
298
158 
203 
238 
7.4 
Oct. 
404 
320 
410 
364 
12.0 
Nov.  
205 
106 
122 
93 
4.3 
Dec. 
426 
287 
367 
383 
11.7 
Jan. 10 
258 
135 
196 
177 
6.1 
Feb. 
296 
236 
352 
255 
10.1 
Mar. 
311 
183 
367 
230 
8.7 
Apr. 
376 
259 
328 
321 
10.7 
May 
395 
279 
337 
278 
10.3 
Last 5 Months 2009 
383.6
262.0 
311.6 
300.6 
10.2 
1st 5 Months 2010
327.2 
218.4 
316.0 
252.2 
9.2 

Mass Casualty Bombings

Months BombingsDeathsWounded
Oct. 09 22 241 887 
Nov. 10 43 136 
Dec.  25 246 851 
Jan. 10 10 100 407 
Feb. 11 160 492 
Mar. 12 142 314 
Apr. 11 172 460 
May 18 182 824+ 

SOURCES

Alsumaria, "Iraq gory bombing kills 30 people," 5/22/10

Associated Press, "Iraq: Key figures since the war began," 6/1/10
- "Toll for Iraq attack rises to 119," 5/11/10

Aswat al-Iraq, "1 killed, 90 wounded in attack on Christian students in Mosul," 5/2/10
- "2 killed, 23 wounded in blast in Baghdad," 5/12/10
- "3 civilians killed, 7 wounded in 4 blasts in Falluja," 5/10/10
- "10 killed in Wassit attacks," 5/10/10
- "11 civilians wounded in blast in Mosul," 5/4/10
- "16 killed, 50 injured in Basra explosion," 5/10/10
- "16 killed, wounded in 2 simultaneous explosions in Babel," 5/19/10
- "55 killed and 220 others wounded in triple attack on Hilla Textile Factory," 5/10/10
- "Baghdad blast kills 4, wounds 8," 5/15/10
- "Baghdad blast's casualties rise to 23," 5/10/10
- "Suicide attack kills cop, wounds 10 in Mosul," 5/20/10
- "Talafar blast casualties more than 133," 5/14/10
- "URGENT/Blast in Hilla leaves 18 Shiite worshippers wounded," 5/14/10

icasualties

Iraq Body Count

Issa, Sahar, "Round-up of Daily Violence in Iraq Monday 10 May 2010," 5/10/10

Kami, Aseel and al-Salhy, Suadad, "Attacks kill over 100 in Iraq, al Qaeda blamed," Reuters, 5/10/10

Londono, Ernesto, "Assassinations and bombings in Iraq kill at least 85," Washington Post, 5/11/10

Rana, Afzal, "3 Dead in Baghdad Grocery Bombing Interior Ministry," Pakistan News, 5/12/10

Reuters, "FACTBOX-Security developments in Iraq, May 10," 5/10/10

Yang Yang, "Iraq's Monthly Death Toll Rises Slightly in May," Xinhua, 6/1/10

Xinhua, "13 wounded in car bombing in northern Iraq," 5/4/10
- "Two roadside blasts kill 5 policemen," 5/12/10

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