Iraq attacks down by one third from peak in April

Thursday, October 7, 2004

WASHINGTON Despite a spate of mass-casualty suicide bombings, insurgency attacks against the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq have dropped significantly over the last five months.

A study by Special Operations Consulting-Security Management Group Inc., a private firm that operates in Iraq, said the average number of daily attacks in Iraq has been 80 during September. This marked a decrease of 33 percent since April 2004, when 120 daily attacks were reported.

April marked the peak of violence in Iraq with the U.S.-led coalition fighting both a Sunni and Shi'ite revolt. The worst violence took place in Faluja as well as Basra, Kut and Najaf.

The report by the Las Vegas-based Special Operations Consulting asserted that the Sunni Triangle remained the focus of the insurgency. The company said that in September, the lion's share of attacks was in Sunni provinces in northern and western Iraq.

The most violent province was identified as Anbar. The study reported 332 attacks against the U.S.-led coalition and civilian contractors in Anbar. Anbar is located along the border with Syria and the U.S. military has been fighting insurgents and weapons smugglers in a major operation since July.

Special Operations Consulting, which compiled statistics from both military and contractor sources, reported 325 attacks in the northwestern province of Salahuddin during September. The report cited 283 attacks in Nineveh and 123 in Diyala.

The report said every one of Iraq's 18 provinces was struck by insurgency attacks in September. The provinces with the least attacks were Babylon with 76 and Wasit, with 13.

The attacks reported ranged from small-arms fire to mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Many of the strikes also included the use of land mines, also known as improvised explosive devices.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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