80% decline in civilian casualties in Iraq in first half of 2018

The confirmation comes from a UN body and an international NGO. To date, 477 deaths in violent attacks, compared to 2,014 in 2017 (down 76.3%). The collapse in violence also confirmed by peaceful Ramadan, plagued by bloody attacks in the past. Four people were arrested for setting fire to ballot storage warehouse ahead of vote recount.


Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The number of civilian casualties in the context of attacks or episodes of violence has " significantly decreased” since the beginning of the year, largely following the defeat of the of the Islamic State jihadist militias (IS , ex Isis). According to Iraq, two international agencies, one linked to the UN and the other committed for years to monitoring the number of deaths in the Arab country, report on Iraq.

In a report released this week by the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (Unami) and the Iraq Body Count, it emerges that the victims among the population have decreased by 80% in the first five months of 2018, compared to the same period of the previous year. In 2018 there were 477 deaths in violent attacks, compared to 2,014 in 2017 (a decline of 76.3%).

The number of injured has dropped from 2,977 to 939 in these first five months, with a decrease of 68.4. The number of civilian victims due to political or religious violence has dropped from 7,708 last year to 1,818 in 2018 (down 76.4%).

The fall in the number of violent episodes also continued during Ramadan, the holy month of fasting and Islamic prayer. A substantial difference, when in the past the jihadist militias and extremist groups took advantage of it to carry out bloody attacks.

Even the parliamentary elections of 12 May, for the first time since the 2003 US-led invasion, took place without major incidents. However, there the shadow of (possible) fraud remains, which has pushed the Iraqi Parliament [with the support of the executive] to ask for a manual recount of the votes.

The operation could, however, be hampered by the fire at the weekend in the most important ballot storage warehouse. The authorities have opened an investigation, which in a few hours led to the arrest of at least three policemen and an Electoral Commission employee.

In a note the Minister of the Interior Qassem al-Araji stressed that "there is no doubt" about the malicious nature of the gesture. The extent of the damage is not yet clear, but it seems that most of the ballots have been saved from the flames.

IRAQ_-_violenze_elezioniok.jpg