Sunday, April 3, 2011

Deaths In Iraq Barely Change In March 2011

Iraq’s ministries, Iraq Body Count, and icasualties recently released their casualty figures for March 2011. They showed little change from the previous month. Iraq Body Count’s provisional numbers had 287 deaths in March compared to 250 in February. Icasualties had 171 fatalities, down from 216 in February. Iraq’s Health, Defense, and Interior Ministries reported 247 casualties, which was a large increase from 167 in February. The reason why Iraq Body Count and the Iraqi Ministries showed an increase in March was due to the deadly attack upon the Salahaddin provincial council building on March 29 that led to 59 being killed. Historically, icasualties has always had the lowest numbers because they only rely upon western reporting, and their site notes that the actual figures are probably much higher.

Together, all three organizations averaged out to 235 dead compared to 212 the previous month. When broken down by daily casualties, there was no change with 7.5 deaths for both March and February. That means deaths have roughly been at the same level since September 2010 when an average of 7.7 were killed per day.

Iraqi Death Counts And Averages Last 12 Months


Iraq Body Count 
Icasualties
Iraqi Ministries
Avg. Monthly Deaths
Avg. Daily Deaths 
Apr.10 
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.
302
174
171
215
7.1
Dec.
217
128
151
165
5.3
Jan. 11
     387
210
259
285
9.2
Feb.
250
216
167
212
7.5
Mar.
287
171
247
235
7.5

In terms of overall security, attacks are still at their lowest level since the 2003 American invasion. In the short term, they have gone up slightly since the beginning of the year. In the first week of January, there were fewer than 30 attacks per week. By mid-March, that had gone up to around 65. That would still put the number of incidents at roughly the same level as the end of 2010. Most attacks have also been concentrated in Baghdad and Ninewa provinces for the last three years.

Weekly Attacks In Iraq
(Iraq Business News)
Shootings and explosions are unfortunately still a daily occurrence in Iraq. They have become highly selective however, with most being political assassinations of government officials and members of the security forces and Sons of Iraq. Very rarely are there indiscriminate mass casualty attacks in Iraq anymore. Al Qaeda in Iraq is usually responsible for them, with the sole purpose of gaining publicity. They have been unable to shake the security situation, or provoke retaliatory attacks. Iraq’s militants are on the decline, but they are still carrying out their deadly trade.

SOURCES

Al-Ansary, Khalid, “Number of violent deaths rises in Iraq in March,” Reuters, 4/1/11

Drake, John, “Weekly Security Update for 30th March 2011,” Iraq Business News

icasualties

Iraq Body Count

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