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The human toll
Iraqi NGO: Violence Slightly up in October
CFRO Warns of Dangers to Women, Children; Ninewa Province Most Dangerous
11/03/2008 5:08 PM ET
October 2008
Civilians Killed Police/Army Killed Wounded Unidentified Corpses Abductions Assassinations Arrests Total
Ninewa 46 17 148 7 2 10 474 704
Baghdad 66 8 238 7 - - 347 666
Diyala 12 4 51 - - 4 397 468
Basra - - - - - - 195 195
Maysan 5 3 - - - - 89 97
Babil 16 - 41 - - - 8 65
Kirkuk 4 - 14 2 - 1 36 57
Anbar 2 - 14 - - 1 35 52
Salah al-Din 6 1 18 11 1 5 5 47
Dhi Qar - - - - - - 42 42
Wasit 8 - 5 5 1 1 16 36
Karbala 1 - - 22 - - 1 24
Muthanna - 3 - - - 11 14
Diwaniya - 1 - - - - 10 11
Irbil - - - - - - 3 3
Najaf - - - - - - 3 3
Data: CFRO.

An Iraqi human rights monitor says that its figures for acts of violence in the month of October 2008 show a slight increase over the previous month, as well as the increase in violence that harms women and children. The Constitutional Freedoms and Rights Observer (CFRO), a nonprofit Iraqi organization that monitors human rights in Iraq, produces monthly report of human rights data in the country.

IraqSlogger has obtained CFRO's newly released October 2008 data in Arabic and published it in translation in the table above.

(If your browser does not display the table above properly, the full grid can be viewed here.)

CFRO recorded 2,485 victims of human rights abuses in Iraq, a small increase in the number of victims over previous months. CFRO's tally for September reported 2,417 recorded acts of violence.

In addition to figures on murders and victims of attacks, CFRO records detentions as acts of violence for the purposes of its database.

According to CFRO's analysis of its data, women and children victims suffered in Iraq in October in a way "not typical" in previous months, and "by various and different means" CFRO also points to the emergence of forced displacement operations against Christians in Mosul as a new development in the human rights record in Iraq.

The agency also calls attention to the targeting of Iraqi security forces, and attacks on displaced Iraqis returning to their homes.

By CFRO's tally, Ninewa province logged the most violent acts in October, by comparison to other provinces.

The Iraqi human rights monitor offers some notes on its October data, presented below:

  • Slight increase in acts of violence in this month.
    • The number of victims of murders, injuries and abductions declined this month in a number or provinces, while suicide explosions and armed attacks increased in October.
    • There was an increase in the number of unidentified bodies found, and in detainees held, over the last month, and two mass graves were discovered with bodies of victims bearing gunshot wounds, one in Karbala and one in Salah al-Din.
  • Armed groups continue to target civilians: Armed groups used a number of means (arbitrary gunfire, assassinations, armed attacks, IEDs and mortars, suicide attacks) to target civilians and officials.
    • Arbitrary gunfire: Armed groups opened fire in an arbitrary way on civilians in markets.
    • Assassinations:
      • Assassination of men: Members of the police, Army, government officials, state employees, tribal leaders, members of the Sahwa, journalists, Christians, laborers in the workplace, and returning displaced persons.
      • Assassination of women: Two pregnant women were assassinated, one in Wasit Province, and one in Ninewa Province. A number of women fell victim to assassination operations that targeted their husbands while they were at the scene of the event. Armed groups used snipers, adhesive IEDs attached to the victim's car, home invasions and assassinations, and assassinations in the public streets.
  • Armed attacks: Armed groups conducted armed attacks on mourning ceremonies, wedding celebrations, tribal gatherings, police checkpoints, Sahwa members, and shopkeepers in their shops.
  • Suicide attacks: October saw several suicide attacks, by men and women attackers, that targeted checkpoints, and targeted civilians.
  • IEDs and mortars: Armed groups launched mortars on crowded civilian areas, and on police and army members, or attached explosive devices to the automobiles of victims, killing them, or placed them inside plastic bags or cardboard boxes, or placed them inside a restaurant, or stores, or automobiles.
  • Land mines and child victims: Most of the victims of land mine explosions are children, as the mines are spread in several areas where children go to play. Children also fell victim to mortar shells, suicide bombers, and armed attacks.
  • Mass graves: Two mass graves were found, one in Karbala province that contained 22 corpses bearing deadly gunshot wounds, and another in Salah al-Din province containing 11 corpses of victims who had been kidnapped and murdered with gunfire over last year.

CFRO also decries "arbitrary gunfire and acts of violence by the Iraqi and American forces," reporting the following:

  • Iraqi forces: Iraqi forces opened fire arbitrarily on two occasions killing and injuring several civilians. Iraqi police opened fire on petty traders in a market in Wasit Province.
  • American forces: American forces opened fire on a car carrying civilians on the motorway, on a civilian lying in his bed, and killed a woman and injured several other civilians by gunshots said to have been fired in error. 11 civilians from one family were killed in their home.

On a final note, of the 1,672 total detentions recorded by CFRO in the month of October, the human rights monitor writes that 1,485 of these were detained by Iraqi forces, 169 by American forces, and 18 by joint US-American forces.

Careful readers will note that the "acts of violence" listed in the table above total 2,484, while CFRO writes that its tally for the month totals 2,485. No explanation is provided for the discrepancy.


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