Iraq violence unabated; 460 killed in April



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Thursday 2 May 2013

Last update 2 May 2013 2:44 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

BAGHDAD: Violence in Iraq rose sharply in April, killing 460 people according to AFP figures, as May started off with attacks that left 13 people dead yesterday, including six police and four anti-Qaeda fighters.
The majority of the April deaths came during a wave of unrest that began near the end of the month when security forces moved on anti-government protesters in north Iraq, sparking clashes that killed 53 people.
Dozens more people died in subsequent violence that included revenge attacks on security forces, raising fears of a return to the all-out sectarian conflict that cost tens of thousands of lives in Iraq from 2006 to 2008.
Protesters have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and railed against authorities for allegedly targeting the people with wrongful detentions and accusations of involvement in terrorism.
Unrest in April also wounded 1,219 people, according to the AFP figures, which are based on reports from security and medical sources.
Among the dead in April were 54 police, 53 soldiers, 14 Sahwa Anti-Qaeda militiamen, and two members of the Kurdish security forces.
The wounded included 171 police, 76 soldiers, eight Sahwa fighters and five Kurdish security forces members.
The majority of the rest of those killed and wounded in April were civilians, although the figures also include some gunmen who died or were injured in clashes with security forces.
In March, 271 people were killed and 906 wounded in violence, though those figures only included security forces and civilians.
The month of May began with more deadly attacks.
A suicide bomber targeted Sahwa militiamen in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, killing a police officer and four Sahwa, while a car bomb in Ramadi killed three police and another in the capital left three more people dead, security and medical officials said.
Gunmen also attacked a checkpoint near Tikrit, north of Baghdad, killing two more police.
“Conditions have definitely worsened in the country,” said John Drake, an Iraq specialist with risk consulting firm AKE Group.
“If the government fails to contain the unrest and address some of the grievances of the protesters, the momentum could certainly build and lead to a reemergence of widespread violence,” he said.
The wave of unrest at the end of April raised fears in Iraq of a return to sectarian conflict.
Maliki has warned of “those who want to take the country back to sectarian civil war,” and also said that sectarian strife “came back to Iraq because it began in another place in this region,” an apparent reference to Syria.
The civil war in neighboring Syria pitting rebels against the regime of President Bashar Assad has killed more than 70,000 people.
Abdulghafur Al-Samarraie and Saleh Al-Haidari, top clerics who head different religious endowments, have held a joint news conference in which they warned against sectarian strife.
Samarraie said there were “malicious plans... with the goal of taking the country towards sectarian conflict.”
Violence in Iraq has fallen from its peak during the height of the sectarian conflict in 2006 and 2007, when death tolls of over 1,000 a month were reported.
But attacks remain common, with people killed on 29 of the 30 days in April, and more than 200 people dead in unrest each month so far this year.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Al Hamzi, director general of prisons, has sacked Brig. Ahmad Al Shahrani, director of Jeddah prisons, after the case of a video clip about prisoners taking heroin went viral, according to local media.Quoting informed source...
RIYADH: Plans are underway to shift the labor dispute commission in the Ministry of Labor to the Ministry of Justice. Related discussions were held here Thursday between Justice Minister Walid Al-Samaani and Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqabani.The disc...
JEDDAH: Drifting has taken a heavy toll of young men who spent their time and energy in the pursuit of this dangerous game for lack of family awareness and guidance.Observers said that the last decade witnessed a dramatic increase in traffic accident...
RIYADH: A mass brawl between migrant workers at a company along Al-Thumama Road broke out in Riyadh on Thursday, causing the death of one worker and the burning of two police vehicles.A Riyadh police source said authorities received a report on Thurs...
JEDDAH: Thousands of expatriates living in Jeddah, who are non-Arabic speakers, were excited about the monthlong 36th Jeddah Festival.The Jeddah and summer festivals this year had a number of theatrical events, entertainment programs, fireworks, arti...
MADINAH: In a tragic Madinah incident, two children died and a woman was injured in a fire which broke out in a house.Capt. Naif bin Mohammad Al-Juhani, spokesman for Civil Defense, said the control room received information about the fire incident i...
JEDDAH: Saudi Aramco said it has financed building 63,000 houses for Saudis through the citizen house owning program implemented by the company. The company said it has granted 1,037 loans to Saudis to build new houses in 2014, stressing that this pr...
RIYADH: A special team of officials from the Ministry of Health, led by Deputy Minister Hamad Aldhwilaa, visited hospitals in the southern border area to ensure that services are available to serve patients in the Asir, Jazan and Najran regions.On ar...
DAMMAM: On April 30 1935, drilling started on test well No. 1 in Dammam. After seven months, only gas was found with traces of oil at a depth of 700 meters. So it had to be plugged. Drilling began on Dammam well No. 2 on Feb. 8, 1936, and started pro...
JEDDAH: A team of doctors at King Abdul Aziz Hospital carried out emergency life-saving surgery on a Kazakh pilgrim who was suffering from a rare disease, on the night of Eid Al-Fitr, according to a website.The 17-year-old Kazakh pilgrim was brought...
JEDDAH: Members of sector committees affiliated with the Council of Saudi Chambers have tried to reach a settlement with the Ministry of Labor that would allow laborers to work on their projects during the day.The attempt was made based on an agreeme...
JEDDAH: The increase in school fees has caused parents to remove their children from private schools and enroll them in public schools in Madinah.With the approaching new school year, many parents were surprised to find that school fees were increase...
RIYADH: The size of the tourism industry has crossed the SR100-million mark with around 130 organizations in the field and the revenues generated through festivals are approximately SR11 billion annually, experts have said. The figures have been prov...
JEDDAH: A total of 105 pay-and-park areas have been opened in the city, including Jeddah historical district, downtown market place, Bab Makkah, Al Andalus Street and Palestine Street.Hani Ahmad Abdullah, media spokesperson for Jeddah Municipality, s...
RIYADH: Moroccan Ambassador Abdussalam Baraka has praised “excellent” trade and bilateral relations between his country and Saudi Arabia and expected the ties to grow further.Speaking on the occasion of Morocco’s National Day on Thursday night, the e...

Stay Connected

Facebook