May 01, 2013
At least 460 people died in sectarian and political violence in Iraq during the month of April, Agence France-Pressereports on Wednesday, documenting yet another surge in violence in a country still reeling from years of war and conflict brought on by the U.S. led invasion a decade ago.
The AFP figures were released on May 1, a day on which another 15 people were killed in a series of bomb blasts across Iraq, police and medics said--showing the upsurge in violence was sadly undeterred by the start of a new month.
The majority of April deaths occurred after April 23, "when security forces moved on Sunni anti-government protesters near the northern Sunni Arab town of Hawijah, sparking clashes that killed 53 people," AFP reports. A massive Sunni protest movement has been growing since late last year in opposition to Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, who protesters say has been suppressing Sunni rights in favor of the country's Shi'ite majority.
Other factors have been blamed for the upsurge in violence, such as the Syrian civil war, which has been commonly categorized as a conflict between Sunni rebels and the ruling regime of President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Alawite offshoot of Shiite Islam--which some suggest has put a strain on Sunni/Shia relations in the region.
Figures from Iraq Body Count show that the number of Iraqi deaths in April was the highest monthly toll since 2009.
In addition to the dead, violence in April also wounded 1,219 people, according to the AFP figures.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.