Though high profile attacks remain as always a serious threat, the everyday violence is rising significantly in Iraq as the March 7 election date nears. At least 44 people were killed today across the nation.
Officials said there was no apparent pattern to the attacks, but between rocket fire against the Green Zone, bombings, raids on civilian homes and even some beheadings, the violence is clearly on the rise.
The attacks drew comparisons to the attacks during the sectarian civil war of the past several years, attacks which had only fairly recently slowed to a relative calm. Sectarian tensions related to the election bannings seem to be at least partially responsible for the renewed violence.
US officials had long anticipated an increase in violence ahead of the vote, but now they are also anticipating another spike in violence after the election, as the increasingly polarized polity’s fight to form some semblance of a coalition government takes place both in official talks and tit-for-tat violence.