Nearly 4,500 civilians died in 2012 in 'low-level war' with insurgents

Wed, Jan 2, 2013, 00:00

A total of 4,471 civilians died in Iraq’s festering “low-level war” with insurgents in 2012, the first annual climb in the death toll in three years, campaigners have said.

The deaths, up from 4,059 in 2011, showed militant fighters were still bent on carrying out large-scale bomb attacks, rights group Iraq Body Count said in its annual report yesterday.

Tensions between Shia, Kurdish and Sunni factions in Iraq’s power-sharing government have been on the rise this year, while the civil war in neighbouring Syria is whipping up sectarian tension across the region.

Insurgents pose a potent threat even though violence has fallen sharply since the height of inter-communal slaughter that followed the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled former president Saddam Hussein.

There has been at least one large bombing a month this year, usually targeting security forces, government offices or Shia Muslims.

The bloodiest day of 2012 was September 9th, when more than 100 people were killed in series of bomb blasts.