Saturday, June 01, 2013

1,045 violent deaths in Iraq in the month of May

Violence slammed Iraq again today.  National Iraqi News Agency reports an armed attack just outside Falluja left 1 military officer dead, a Mosul bombing claimed the life of 1 police officer and left another dead, a co-op generator worker was shot dead near his Mosul home, a Tikrit home invasion left 2 people dead, a Baquba bombing left three people injured, and a Hilla roadside bombing left two Iraqi soldiers injured.  In addition, there was an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Nineveh Province Governor Atheel al-Nuaifi.  He is the brother of Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi.  The attempt on him makes the third attempt this week on a governor (earlier, the Governor of Salahuddin Province and the Governor of Anbar Province were targeted for assassinations -- the two survived uninjured).

Today kicked off a new month.  Iraq Body Count counts 883 violent deaths in May.  AFP got 614.  Don't giggle.  We'll come back to why later on.  We'll again note Jason Ditz ( providing's numbers:’s own daily round-ups from Margaret Griffis tracked Iraq violence counts, and came up with 1,077 dead in the month of May, and 2,258 others wounded. Such a level has not been seen since the last sectarian civil war in Iraq in early 2008.
Perhaps most troubling is that the toll wasn’t a straight line throughout the month, and that much of the violence came in the second half of May.'s numbers come closest to the United Nations.  However, by Price Is Right "Showcase Showdown" rules, you have to come closest without going over so the winner is IBC.  UNAMI released the following today:

UN Casualty Figures for May: More than one thousand Iraqis killed

Baghdad, 1 June 2013 – According to casualty figures released today by UNAMI, a total of 1,045 Iraqis were killed and another 2,397 were wounded in acts of terrorism and acts of violence in May.

The number of civilians killed was 963 (including 181 civilian police) and the number of civilians injured was 2,191 (including 359 civilian police). A further 82 members of the Iraqi Security Forces were killed and 206 were injured.

“That is a sad record,” the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Martin Kobler, said. “Iraqi political leaders must act immediately to stop this intolerable bloodshed,” the UN envoy added.

Baghdad was the worst affected Governorate with 1,817 civilian casualties (532 killed, 1,285 injured), followed by Salahuddin, Ninewa, Anbar, Diyala and Kirkuk.

UNAMI recorded a minimum of 560 security incidents in different parts of Iraq. 178  of these incidents involved Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which killed and injured a minimum of 886 civilians; 82 Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) and Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED)  killed and injured a minimum of 1,435 civilians; and 243 incidents of Small Arms Fire (SAF) killed and injured a minimum of 470 civilians.

Disclaimer: The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq undertakes monitoring of the impact of armed violence and terrorism on Iraqi civilians in accordance with its mandate. UNAMI relies on direct investigation, along with credible secondary sources, in determining civilian casualties. UNAMI figures are conservative and may under-report the actual number of civilians killed and injured for a variety of reasons. Where different casualty figures are obtained for the same incident, the figure as verified by UNAMI is used.

 In Iraq today, there was the faux 'news' we dealt with in the previous entry.  There was also Ammar al-Hakim, head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, overseeing a meet-up.  Alsumaria notes al-Hakim's speech which tossed around the terms "honor," "blood" and "partnership."   The theme was parternship is not a privilege given but the natural outcome of people in a country.  The secondary theme was that pluralism is represented in Iraq by its people and must be reflected in its government.

All Iraq News notes that the meeting was at al-Hakim's office and that attendees included Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Speaker of Parliament Osama al-Nujaifi and Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq.  Ayad Allawi, Moqtada al-Sadr and KRG President Massoud Barzani did not attend but did send representatives.


The image from Alsumaria illustrates this article which notes Ammar standing between al-Nujaifi and Nouri.  Ammar clasps one of hand of each men and holds them aloft.  (al-Nujaifi is the man in the royal blue suit.)   Also not at the meet-up was Iraqi President Jalal Talbani who remains in Germany currently.  All Iraq News notes the PUK (his party) is stating that he will resume his full duties upon his return to Iraq which is said to take place shortly.

Yesterday's snapshot noted Alex Thomson (Channel 4) summarizing a new poll on the British asking them about deaths in Iraq:

  • Two-thirds (66 per cent) of the public estimate that 20,000 or fewer civilians and combatants have died as a consequence of the war in Iraq since 2003.
  • One in 10 (10 per cent) think that between 100,000 and 500,000 have died and one in 20 (6 per cent) think that more than 500,000 have died.
  • According to public estimates, the mean number of deaths in Iraq since the invasion is 189,530.
  • Women in Britain are more likely to underestimate the number of deaths in Iraq since the invasion than men. Half (53 per cent) of women think 5,000 or fewer deaths have occurred since the invasion compared to one-third (35 per cent) of men.
Perhaps that last figure is the most startling – a majority of women and more than a third of men polled say fewer than 5,000 deaths have occurred.

Over a thousand deaths in Iraq in May.  AFP started last week with 500 and ended with 600.  Do you think AFP might be part of the problem?  Credit for keeping your own numbers, AFP, but why are you unable to get correct numbers?

The following community sites -- plus NPR,, the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and Adam Kokesh -- updated last night and today:

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