Another female suicide bomber attacked Iraqi forces today, August 11, in Diyala province’s capitol of Baquba. The woman walked up to a checkpoint near a market and detonated her explosives. One policeman was killed and fourteen others were wounded. The attack came during an Iraqi offensive in the province that started on July 29.
This is either the 27th or 28th female bombing this year. The last incident occurred when three women attacked Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad on July 28. Its been unconfirmed, but the attack the same day against Kurds demonstrating in Kirkuk against the election law also could have been carried out by a woman. Diyala has seen more female bombers than any other province in 2008. Fourteen other attacks have happened there.
There are apparently two main motivations behind women bombers. One is the woman are acting out of family honor. Many of them have had a male relative killed, captured or wounded by U.S. or Iraqi security forces. The women see their act as part of revenge for their family’s name. The other factor is that the insurgency is losing its wind. The number of attacks its able to organize has dropped dramatically, to the point where there is little organized resistance. Islamist groups like Al Qaeda in Iraq are also unable to recruit as many foreign fighters as before that would traditionally carry out these types of suicide attacks. These militants have therefore turned to women out of desperation, and because it is easier for them to get through security. Female attacks also garner more publicity for the insurgents to show that they are still active and capable of sowing chaos. It is a growing tactic as only eight were used in 2007.
Agence France Presse, “Bombs kill six in Iraq’s dangerous Diyala province,” 8/11/08
Juhi, Bushra, “Iraqis suspend military operations in Diyala,” Associated Press, 8/11/08
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