34 weeks since the election

Levels of violence rose in Iraq over the last week in the aftermath of the wikileaks release and amid the sentencing of Tariq Aziz, prompting fears that fragile Iraq could become further destabilised. At least 79 people were killed and 197 injured in nationwide violence.

After a whole month without a suicide attack, the country experienced three over the past week, one in Mosul, one in Diyala province, and then one in a church in Baghdad as widely reported in the media.

There was one kidnap incident reported in Kirkuk, and one attempted abduction in Anbar province.

In total, at least 36 bomb attacks left 16 people dead and 74 injured. This is actually a slight decline from recent weeks.

Conversely small arms attacks left 14 people dead and 20 injured, which constitutes a rise.

Many of these attacks were targeted, particularly those taking place in Baghdad, with carefully planned shootings and targeted sticky bomb attacks a particular concern.

It has been nearly eight months since national elections were held and there are no signs that an immediate end to the government formation process is in sight.

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia suggested that leading Iraqi political candidates meet in Riyadh to help end the deadlocked government formation process.

Over recent weeks Nuri al-Maliki has made several visits to regional allies in an effort to gain support for his bid to retain the presidency.

However, Maliki’s State of Law bloc rejected the Saudi effort, claiming the formation of the Iraqi government is a purely local affair.
For further reading, a series of articles on the Church attack can be found at the following sites:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/31/christian-worshippers-killed-baghdad-raid

http://bit.ly/9wDqTd

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11664020

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iraq/8102419/Pope-condemns-Baghdad-church-massacre.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDj-2JunZ6E

About johnfdrake
Senior Risk Consultant and Iraq specialist for British security and risk mitigation company AKE ltd.

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