AOAV: all our reportsExplosive violence in Iraq

Upsurge in explosive violence in Iraq

In a month that has seen Iraq descend further and further into chaos, AOAV has recorded a sharp increase in the use of explosive weapons across the country, and in the numbers of casualties from these weapons.

In the first 20 days of June, 61 incidents of explosive weapon use were recorded in Iraq. High numbers of casualties were recorded, with 1,816 being killed or injured. Over two-thirds (1,259 or 69%) of these casualties were civilians. AOAV recorded 812 deaths from explosive violence, almost half of which (43%) were reported as civilians. These numbers demonstrate a significant increase in explosive weapon violence in Iraq, where in April, for example, where AOAV recorded 832 civilian casualties and 203 armed actor casualties. That means that June has already seen a 51% increase in civilian casualties, from 832 to 1,259.

June has been an especially violent month in Iraq, and no day more so than 8 June. Twelve incidents of explosive weapon use were recorded in one day. The use of mortars, shells, air-dropped bombs and improvised explosive devices resulted in 126 civilian casualties and 26 armed actor casualties.

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are widely used in Iraq, and cause much of the death and devastation which has plagued the country. IEDs, in the form of car bombs, roadside bombs, and other non-specified improvised devices were used in 42 of the incidents recorded so far in June, and were responsible for the deadliest attack so far. A roadside bomb immediately followed by a suicide bomb attacking a police checkpoint at a Patriotic Union of Kurdistan office in Tuz Kharmato reportedly killed 22 civilians, and injured 115. This is just one example of the devastation these weapons can cause.

Car bombs have been a particular problem in June. For example, on 7 June, a spate of seven car bombs within an hour in Baghdad killed 41 civilians, injuring 62.  These weapons are especially dangerous for civilians as they contain large quantities of explosives and can cause death and destruction on a huge scale.

AOAV records incidents of explosive weapon use from English-language news sources, using an RSS reader to scan Google news for key terms which relate to explosive weapon use. The majority of recorded incidents in Iraq come from sources such as the Associated Press, Xinhua and IANS.


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