Iraq Body Count figures for July 20: 49 civilians killed
IBC total to-date for July, 2013: 584 civilians killed
The above figures may be low even through Saturday, as the AP reports (via washingtonpost.com) that Saturday’s death toll has been revised to something higher than 70. 13 more people were reportedly killed Sunday in an attack on Kurdish security forces (retaliation for the Kurds attacking Sunni fundamentalist fighters in Syria?) in Kirkuk, a bombing in the town of Taji (just north of Baghdad), another bombing “outside the house of an anti-al-Qaida Sunni militia leader” in Basmayah, and another shooting attack on soldiers in Mosul.
UPDATE: A short time after I posted this, Al-Jazeera’s Jane Arraf tweeted this:
Attack in progress at #Iraq Abu Ghraib, Taji prisons. Gunmen with RPGs, mortars launch raid, spark riots. Army troops, helicopters sent.
— jane arraf (@janearraf) July 21, 2013
Taji and Abu Ghraib house a number of members of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an umbrella group for Sunni extremists affiliated with al-Qaeda. Or housed, I suppose; Charles Lister’s Twitter feed quotes ISIS sources saying that thousands of prisoners in both facilities have been freed in a very sophisticated/coordinated attack. As he notes, expect this incident to have impacts on both sides of the Iraq/Syria border.