This chart shows just how bad things are getting in Iraq


A senior member of the al-Qaeda-linked ISIS group stands next to a burning police vehicle in Iraq's Anbar Province. (Militant Web site via AP)

This happened in Baghdad today:

  • Two car bombs went off simultaneously in two parking lots, across the street from the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Twelve people were killed.
  • A suicide bomber walked into a falafel restaurant and set off his explosives-laden belt. Five people were killed.
  • A bomb inside a parked car went off in a commercial center. Five people were killed.

A total of 22 people were killed  and 45 wounded in three separate attacks in the Iraqi capital, which came just days after one of its bloodiest months. But the rise in violence goes back even further, as this chart shows:


(Washington Post Graphics)

You can see that violence has spiked considerably since the war's formal end and the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops.

Last month, 992 people were killed in Iraq, according to numbers recorded by AFP, as the country struggles to contain deadly attacks by Sunni militants. Iraqi ministries of health and defense put the death toll even higher, saying that at least 1,013 people were killed in January, including 795 civilians, 122 soldiers and 96 policemen.

That makes January the deadliest month for Iraq since April 2008, when nearly 1,100 people were killed as the country was still rising from the ashes of a brutal sectarian war.

With national elections only a few months away, violence has spiked in Iraq in the past two years, as al-Qaeda-affiliated Sunni extremist groups attempt to undermine the Shiite-led government.

According to the United Nations, 7,818 civilians and 1,050 security forces were killed in attacks across the country in 2013.

Anup Kaphle is the Post's digital foreign editor. He has an M.S. degree in journalism from Columbia University. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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