Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

7 October 2013

Iraq: Spate of suicide bombings against civilians are crimes against humanity

Iraq: Spate of suicide bombings against civilians are crimes against humanity
More than 6,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq so far this year, the highest number since 2008.

More than 6,000 civilians have been killed in Iraq so far this year, the highest number since 2008.

© AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images


Deliberately killing civilians can never be justified. These latest attacks are war crimes and are part of a widespread attack against civilians in Iraq that amounts to crimes against humanity
Source: 
Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Programme Director
Date: 
Mon, 07/10/2013

 

A wave of suicide bombings targeting school children and Shi’a pilgrims over the weekend marks a deplorable turn in the current surge in violence, said Amnesty International. 

 

In the latest attacks at least 22 people were killed today in a fresh wave of explosions in Baghdad. 

 

"Deliberately killing civilians can never be justified. These latest attacks are war crimes and are part of a widespread attack against civilians in Iraq that amounts to crimes against humanity,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Programme Director. 

 

The attacks, which included suicide bombings in a school playground in northern Iraq and on Shi’a pilgrims in the capital, left scores of people dead, including at least 12 children. 

 

The violence in various parts of the country has been surging to levels not seen in several years. No armed group has yet claimed responsibility for the latest series of attacks, but they bear the hallmarks of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al-Qa'ida affiliate. 

 

ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians, including many Shi'a, around Iraq in the last few months. Its purported aim is to ignite a full sectarian war between Sunni and Shi'a Iraqis, similar to the one that ravaged the country in 2006-7. 

 

Latest wave of attacks 

 

On 6 October a man driving a lorry full of explosives blew himself up at a primary school in the Shi'a Turkmen village of Qabak just outside the town of Tal-'Afar, 70km north-west of Mosul in northern Iraq. At least 12 children aged between six and 12 were killed and  scores were injured. 

 

It came a day after three separate attacks on 5 October. 

 

In Baghdad, another suicide bomber attacked a crowd of Shi'a pilgrims in al-Adhamiya district on the eve of the anniversary of the death of a revered Shi'a Imam, killing at least 51 people and injuring at least 70 

 

Also on 5 October a suicide bomber struck a café in Balad, north of Baghdad, killing at least 12 people and wounding at least 25 others. 

 

The same day in Mosul, two media workers for the satellite television channel al-Sharqiya, correspondent Mohammad Karim al-Badrani and cameraman Mohammad Ghanem, were shot dead by armed men. Al-Sharqiya said that the two men had previously received threats because of their reporting on security issues.

 

Iraq's head of Parliament Ussama al-Nujaifi condemned these latest attacks and urged the government to do more to protect the population. 

 

“Armed groups must immediately end deliberate attacks on civilians. The Iraqi government must do more to protect the civilian population from such attacks, and ensure prompt, independent and impartial investigations into these crimes,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui. 

 

According to the group Iraq Body Count, as of 6 October, 229 civilians had been killed around Iraq since the beginning of the month, and more than 6,000 so far this year - the highest death toll since 2008. 

Issue

Armed Groups 
Children 
Extrajudicial Executions And Other Unlawful Killings 
MENA unrest 

Country

Iraq 

Region

Middle East And North Africa 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

21 August 2014

Children accused of being members of armed groups in the conflict in Mali are languishing in adult jails while human rights abuses continue.

Read more »
15 August 2014

The number of killings perpetrated by the police is on the rise again in the Dominican Republic whilst legislation intended to fix the problem stalls and stagnates in Congress... Read more »

29 August 2014

The execution of two men in Japan on Friday flies in the face of growing calls in the country to halt the use of capital punishment, said Amnesty International.

Read more »
29 August 2014

Russia’s official branding of a civil society organization as a “foreign agent”, an expression akin to “spying”, for speaking out on Ukraine is a sign of the country’s... Read more »

01 September 2014

The Israeli authorities’ outrageous plan to expropriate nearly 1,000 acres of land in the West Bank is illegal and must be rescinded immediately, said Amnesty International.

Read more »