THROUGHOUT 2011, Iraq saw an average of 56 violent attacks a week, according to figures compiled by a security analyst.
Violence in Baghdad between October and December accounted for 38 per cent of all violence in Iraq over that period.
The Iraq Business News reports that John Drake senior risk consultant of the security firm AKE says that Iraqi security forces are likely to remain a target for militants in 2012 following US troop withdrawal last month.
AKE documented at least 2,893 deaths from violence last year, but says that the “true figure is almost certain to be much higher”.
Figures compiled by monitoring organisation Iraq Body Count show that while casualties have fallen dramatically from 2006 and 2007 levels, the number of casualties increased slightly last year from 2010 (up from 4,045 to 4,087). It also says that at least 445 civilians have been killed in Iraq between 1 and 29 January,
According to AKE’s data:
A total of 1,716 explosive attacks took place, with 78 of them involving suicide bombers. Eighty-three people were also kidnapped, with many remaining in captivity or unaccounted for.
Most of last year’s violence was concentrated in the centre and north of the country, while southern provinces including oil-rich previously-troubled areas were much quieter.
Sectarian tensions have been mounting in the wake of the US troops withdrawal in December, and a series of recent attacks have targeted Shiite pilgrims and Shiite neighbourhoods.