Third Day of Iraq Unrest Leaves 96 Dead

Thursday: 96 Killed, 79 Wounded

by , April 25, 2013

A third day of widespread unrest across northern Iraq led to the deaths of dozens. At least 96 Iraqis were killed and 79 more were wounded, but the final tally is unknown as many of the casualties went uncounted in the chaos.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appeared on television and called for calm while promising to squash the nascent Sunni rebellion. A few Sunni army personnel are said to be deserting their posts rather than fight fellow tribesmen.

In Mosul, at least 31 gunmen and 10 policemen were killed in clashes that lasted until evening. Civilians were trapped in their homes as parts of the city fell under control of men calling on Sunnis to join the insurrection. Another five policemen were killed, according to a source at a local morgue. At least six policemen were wounded, but the number is likely much higher. Security forces were able to eventually regain control. In unrelated violence, gunmen stormed a home and killed four members of a policeman’s family.

Fighting and a helicopter crash killed 19 people and wounded 25 more in Saidiya.

Four people were killed and at least 22 more were wounded in a blast in Najaf.

In Jurf al-Sakhar, a bomb killed four soldiers and wounded four more.

Falluja also saw clashes today, but the full number of casualties was not released. However, at least two Sahwa members and two policemen were killed, and two other people were wounded.

Four gunmen were killed in Qara Tapa. At least nine people were wounded.

In Kafak, three gunmen were killed and two more were wounded.

Three gunmen were killed and three more were wounded as they attacked a Hawija checkpoint.

In Samarra, two policemen were killed and four more were wounded in a clash at a checkpoint that also left two gunmen dead.

A soldier was shot dead in Tikrit.

Mortar fire in Yathrib wounded two policemen

The fighting in Suleiman Beg continued, but no figures were released on the additional number of casualties. The city appears to remain under the control of the militants. It is believed that most of them belong to the Naqshabandiya Army.

Clashes also took place in Baquba, but the number of casualties, if any, was not reported.

An oil pipeline was damaged in an explosion near Shirqat.

Gunmen took over a checkpoint in Qayara.

A checkpoint in Dour was also attacked and taken over.

Kurdish rebels are withdrawing from Turkey and returning to their camps in northern Iraq as part of a peace process that could end the decades-long guerrilla war. The fighting has frequently cross the border into northern Iraq, where it not only disrupted rebel activities but also killed civilians.

Read more by Margaret Griffis