Thursday, November 3, 2011

Summer’s Increase In Iraqi Deaths Continues Into October 2011


For the last five months, the number of monthly deaths in Iraq has slightly crept up. This trend started in June 2011, and has continued until October. This is likely the result of the summer months and hotter weather when militants become more active.

For October 2011, the two main groups recording deaths in Iraq observed divergent trends. Iraq Body Count had 365 deaths, down from 394 in September and 398 in August. Iraq’s ministries on the other hand, reported 258 casualties, up from185 in September, and 239 in August. Together, October averaged 311 deaths and 10.0 killed per day. September had 289 deaths and a 9.6 daily average. Last month's figures were above the yearly average. So far, Iraq has averaged 286 deaths for the first ten months of the year, and 9.3 casualties per day. Iraq Body Count and Iraq’s ministries often disagree about which way casualties are heading month-to-month, so October was no different. Together however, they have followed the same general course over the year.

Tracking deaths from the beginning of the year shows a steady increase as the year has progressed. The year started off with a bang at 10.4 deaths per day, but then went down to 7.4 in February, 8.9 in March, 8.2 in April, and 8.9 in May. That averaged out to 8.76 deaths. Then beginning in June, there was an up tick to 10.9, 9.0 in July, 10.2 in August, 9.6 in September, and 10.0 in October. That was an average of 9.94. That was a slight, but noticeable rise from the beginning of 2011 to the last five months. Summer is traditionally the time when militants increase their operations. When the insurgency was going full throttle for example, it would launch Ramadan offensives. It has followed that trend ever since then, despite its reversal in fortunes, and this year seems no different.  

With summer having ended, hopefully deaths in Iraq will decrease for the last two months of the year. The country may no longer be facing a civil war, but it still suffers from a serious terrorist threat. The operations by militants this summer shows that this lack of security continues to the present day.

Month
Iraq Body Count
Iraqi Ministries
Avg. Monthly Deaths
Avg. Daily Deaths
Jan.
387
259
323
10.4
Feb.
250
167
208
7.4
Mar.
307
247
277
8.9
Apr.
285
211
248
8.2
May
378
177
277
8.9
Jun.
386
271
328
10.9
Jul.
305
259
282
9.0
Aug.
398
239
318
10.2
Sep.
394
185
289
9.6
Oct.
365
258
311
10.0
2011 Avg.
345
227
286
9.3

SOURCES

Agence France Presse, “Iraq death toll up sharply in October,” 11/1/11

Iraq Body Count

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