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Nov 2nd, 2009

Half of Iraqis Killed in October Died in One Attack

Image: Iraqi security forces inspect wreckage
Iraqi security forces inspect the wreckage following a bus bomb explosion in the southern holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. (Photo credit: Ahmed Alhusseiney / AP)

Nov. 2, 2009

BAGHDAD — Nearly half of all Iraqis who died in October perished in a single coordinated attack against government offices in Baghdad, AP figures revealed Monday.

Of the 364 Iraqis killed over the past month, according to The Associated Press count, 155 died in two nearly simultaneous bombs targeting government buildings Oct. 25 in downtown Baghdad — the worst coordinated attack in more than two years. …

Many killings go unreported, uncounted

April was the deadliest month in Iraq with 451 killed, according to the AP count, followed by June with 448 and August with 425 Iraqis killed.

The AP began tracking war-related violence in Iraq in May 2005. The tally includes civilian, Iraqi military and Iraqi police deaths each day as reported by police, hospital officials, morgue workers and verifiable witness accounts. Insurgent deaths are not included.

The numbers are considered a minimum. The actual number of those killed is likely higher as many killings go unreported or uncounted. …


Bicycle Bomb Kills 5 in Southern Iraq

Image: Civilians inspect a damaged car
Civilians inspect a damaged car after a car bomb went of in the western city of Ramadi,70 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. Two people — including a policeman — were killed when twin car bombs exploded minutes apart in the visitors’ parking lot of Ramadi’s Traffic Police Directorate. (Photo credit: Stringer / AP)

Nov. 1, 2009

BAGHDAD — A bomb attached to a bicycle killed five people in southern Iraq on Sunday, and at least five others were killed in violence across the country, police said. ..

Maj. Muthana Khalid said a booby trapped bicycle exploded at a popular fruit and vegetable market Sunday near Hillah, the capital of Iraq’s Babil province, 60 miles south of Baghdad.

Thirty-seven people were wounded in the attack, Khalid said.

In the western city of Ramadi, two people — including a policeman — were killed when twin car bombs exploded minutes apart in the visitors’ parking lot of the city’s Traffic Police Directorate.

Also Sunday, three people were killed when a bomb that was detonated remotely exploded on a bus as the vehicle approached a police checkpoint in the southern holy city of Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, officials said. …

Last week, twin suicide attacks in Baghdad killed 155 people, the worst attacks in Iraq in two years. …



Suicide Bomber Kills 35 Near Pakistan’s Capital

Image: Mourning bombing victim in Pakistan
A man mourns over the body of his brother, a victim of a bombing near a bank, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009. (Photo credit: Alexandre Meneghini / AP)

Nov. 2, 2009

RAWALPINDI, Pakistan — A suicide bomber killed 35 people outside a bank near Pakistan’s capital Monday, as the U.N. said spreading violence has forced it to start pulling out some expatriate staff and suspend long-term development work in areas along the Afghan border.

Hours after the first blast, another suicide bomber struck in the eastern city of Lahore, exploding a car at a police checkpoint as officers went to search it. At least seven policemen were injured and two were in critical condition, officials said. …

Checkpoints, where cars are forced to drive slowly past police officers looking inside, have become common sights across Pakistan amid a surge in violence that has left at least 300 people dead over the past month. The violence has grown bloodier since the government launched an anti-Taliban offensive in mid-October.

Several U.N. personnel have been among those killed in the violence, and the world body’s decision to curtail development work could imperil Western goals of reducing extremism by improving Pakistan’s economy.

‘Big bang’

The first attack Monday came in Rawalpindi, a garrison city just a few miles from Islamabad. It occurred as many people waited outside the National Bank on a pay day to collect salaries.

The bank is close to the army’s headquarters, and a majority of the people waiting in line were from the military, said Mohammad Mushtaq, a soldier who was wounded. Militants raided the headquarters last month, triggering a 22-hour standoff that left 23 people dead. …

Image: Pakistan suicide bombing scene
Aamir Qureshi / AFP — Getty Images
Pakistani policemen secure the site after a sucide bomb blast in Rawalpindi on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009.

Four soldiers were killed in the attack, and nine were wounded, said the army’s chief spokesman, Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas. In total, 35 people were killed, said Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira. Several dozen others were wounded. …

Pakistan’s president, prime minister and other top officials condemned the blast but vowed to continue the offensive in South Waziristan, an impoverished and underdeveloped tribal region next to Afghanistan where al-Qaida is believed to have hide-outs. …

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, met with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on Monday at the army headquarters in Rawalpindi. The U.S. Embassy declined to say if he was there at the time of the attack.

U.N. pull-out

Washington has stepped up its efforts to use development aid in a broader battle against spreading militancy. The U.S. government recently approved $7.5 billion in aid over five years to improve Pakistan’s economy, education and other nonmilitary sectors.

But the U.N. decision to suspend long-term development work in Pakistan’s tribal areas and its North West Frontier Province could frustrate Washington’s goals.

The U.N. made its decision after losing 11 of its personnel in attacks in Pakistan this year, including last month’s bombing of the World Food Program’s office in Islamabad that killed five people.

The world body will reduce the level of international staff in the country and confine its work to emergency, humanitarian relief, and security operations, and “any other essential operations as advised by the secretary-general,” the organization said in a statement.

The U.N. has been deeply involved in helping Pakistan deal with refugee crises resulting from army offensives against militants in the northwest. …


11/3/09 Update

Pakistan Taliban: Were ‘Prepared for Long War’

Wave of violence continues in Pakistan (NBC Nightly News, Nov. 2, 2009) — A suicide bomb killed 35 people, including four soldiers, outside a bank near Pakistan’s military headquarters Monday, bringing the total dead over the past month to at least 300. (00:17)

Nov. 3, 2009

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A Taliban spokesman denied Tuesday that Pakistan has won a series of battlefield victories in its offensive in tribal South Waziristan, saying the militants are drawing government soldiers into a trap.

“We are prepared for a long war,” Azam Tariq told an Associated Press reporter by telephone. “The areas we are withdrawing from, and the ones the army is claiming to have won, are being vacated by us as part of a strategy. The strategy is to let the army get in a trap, and then fight a long war.” …

What is actually happening, though, is impossible to confirm.

Pakistan has effectively sealed off the tribal areas, semiautonomous regions where the central government in Islamabad has long had only minimal authority. Journalists have only been allowed near combat areas on carefully choreographed military trips.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — November 2, 2008

Write-in Campaign: Day 15

One year ago today, on the 15th day of my write-in campaign against U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District, in my capacity as research director of the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, I published two articles in the St. Cloud Times in which I provided an analysis of my primary concerns regarding the personality-based limitations of prospective Obama and McCain presidencies.

Obama’s conciliatory tendency could be cause for concern

McCain’s maverick nature is double-edged sword

2 Responses to “Iraq Violence: October Statistics”
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