Friday, March 4, 2011

Iraq Deaths Continue To Fluctuate Up And Down Each Month

Deaths in Iraq have continually fluctuated up and down since January 2009. The last twelve months have been no different. In February 2011 Iraq Body Count reported a tentative 254 killed, icasualties had 216, and for a change, Iraq’s ministries had the lowest amount at 167. That averaged out to 212 casualties for the month, and 7.5 deaths per day. That was a drop from January when an average of 285 were killed, and the third lowest average in the last year. The other two lows were in December 2010 when an average of 165 were killed, and November with 215.

Last 12 Months Iraqi Death Counts And Averages


Iraq Body Count 
Icasualties
Iraqi Ministries
Avg. Monthly Deaths
Avg. Daily Deaths 
Mar.10 
334
183
367
294
9.5
Apr.
380
259
328
322
10.7
May
377
279 
337
331
10.6
Jun.
368
176
284
276
9.2
Jul.
430
534
535
499
16.1
Aug.
517
363
426
435
14.0
Sep.
252
174
273
233
7.7
Oct.
311
185
293
263
8.4
Nov.
300
174
171
215
7.1
Dec.
     217
128
151
165
5.3
Jan. 11
388
210
259
285
9.2
Feb.
254
216
167
212
7.5

 February was characterized by a series of small security incidents. February 12 was the deadliest day of the month with 48 killed and 80 wounded when a suicide bomber attacked a bus stop in Samarra, Salahaddin aimed at Shiite pilgrims. Most other days had a series of small explosions and shootings that only took a few lives each as is the norm for security incidents in the country.

Overall, February represented just the latest dip in casualties in Iraq. 2010 actually saw a small increase in daily casualties reaching a high point in July and August when insurgents launched a series of high profile, mass casualty attacks to attract media attention. Since then deaths have been in a steady decline, with a small surge in January when militants struck Shiite pilgrims and Iraqi security forces. Anti-government forces obviously do not have the means or wherewithal to do much else these days. They look for targets of opportunity such as Shiite pilgrims traveling throughout the county, security forces at a checkpoint, or people standing in line to get paid or applying for jobs. These incidents pose no threat to the Iraqi government, and gain few supporters within the country, but they are persistent and cost hundreds of lives each month. Until there is another change in the status quo, this level of violence will unfortunately continue into the near future.

SOURCES

Icasualties

Iraq Body Count

Reuters, “Iraq has fewer violent deaths in February,” 3/1/11

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