WASHINGTON ø 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
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.