Entries in Fatalities (28)


Iraq Suffers Deadliest Month in Two Years

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Iraqi security forces are still having problems handling a revived al Qaeda and insurgency as the September death toll from militant violence reached 365, the highest monthly casualty figure in two years.

According to the Iraq's health, interior and defense ministries, 182 civilians were killed last month along with 88 police and 95 soldiers.

This represents the most number of deaths in a single month since August 2010 when 426 fatalities were reported.

At that time, the U.S. troop level in Iraq was at around 50,000.  Virtually all Americans soldiers were withdrawn from the country by the end of 2011.

Iraqi security analyst Ali Al Haidari speculated that factors leading to the spike in violence include a lack of surveillance equipment and "weakness on the intelligence side."

Political analyst Ehsan Al Shammari gave a more general explanation, saying it had to do with "the lack of readiness of the security organization and a weakness in military abilities and a lack of training."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


July's Death Toll in Iraq the Worst in Two Years

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BAGHDAD) -- Political instability, al Qaeda and growing violence in Syria all contributed to Iraq's deadliest month in two years.

According to government figures, 325 people were killed in July as the result of insurgent-related violence -- the most since 426 Iraqis died in August 2010.

Civilian fatalities accounted for the bulk of July's death toll across the country, while 80 members of the national security forces were also killed.

Meanwhile, close to 700 were wounded in various assaults that mostly centered in Baghdad and north of the capital.

Iraq's health, interior and defense ministries also reported that the July 23 series of coordinated attacks that left 107 people dead was the bloodiest single day in Iraq since Dec. 8, 2009, when 126 deaths were reported across the country.

Much of July's violence has been blamed on the rise of sectarian tensions brought on by discontent with the government of Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as a resurgent al Qaeda that has vowed to take back territories it ceded to coalition forces before the U.S. troops' withdrawal at the end of 2011.

The ongoing conflict in Syria that has forced many Iraqi expatriates to return to their homeland has also been blamed for the spike in violence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Landslides Kill More than 20 in South Korea

Ryan McVay/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Landslides triggered by torrential rains over the past two days have killed at least 22 people in South Korea, emergency officials said Wednesday.

The Korea Herald reports Chuncheon as being the hardest hit, with at least 13 people dying when several residential buildings were destroyed in a landslide.  At least 20 more were injured, four of them critically.

Emergency officials said most of the victims of the Chuncheon landslide were students from Incheon's Inha University who were doing volunteer work in the area. The cabin in which they were staying was reportedly engulfed by a raging river of mud, according to the Lethbridge Herald.

Over 50 miles away at the capital of Seoul, a separate landslide left at least nine people dead.

South Korea's disaster control agency said six people have been reported missing, according to The Korea Herald.

Search and rescue efforts are underway.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dozens Killed after Bus Blaze in China

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- At least 41 people are dead after a double-decker bus caught fire Friday morning on a highway in central China, according to state media.

The Xinhua News Agency reports the incident occurred in Xinyang City in Henan province and involved a possibly overcrowded bus carrying hazardous goods on board.  The bus reportedly had a limit of 35 sleeper berths.

Six passengers managed to escape the flames and were transported to nearby hospitals, Xinhua reports.

Those who were killed will likely have to be identified by DNA tests since they were severely burned, officials said according to Xinhua.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Suicide Bombing in Iraq Kills 21 Cops, Injures Dozens

Antenna Audio, Inc./Getty Images(HILLA, Iraq) -- In what was the deadliest terrorist attack in Iraq in over a month, 21 police officers were killed Thursday when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a police station in the southern city of Hilla.

Witnesses said that the attacker waited until guards were in the midst of changing shifts before driving the vehicle head-on into the precinct.

The powerful blast also wounded 75 cops, about half of them seriously.  It's believed that the car contained 330 pounds of explosives.

This was the single deadliest assault in Iraq since March 29, when al Qaeda militants stormed a building in the northern city of Tikrit.  Fifty-eight people died in the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Death Toll from Japan Earthquake, Tsunami Tops 13,000

Sankei via Getty Images(TOKYO) -- Japan’s National Police Agency says the death toll from last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami now stands at 13,498, with 14,734 others still missing.

On Thursday, workers searching for the missing moved for the first time to within six miles of the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.  The searchers are wearing white outfits to shield them from radiation that has leaked from the facility since the twin disasters.

Japanese media reports about 1,000 bodies may be within the six-mile zone surrounding the nuclear plant.  Search crews had stayed away because of high radiation levels, but authorities ordered them to recover bodies before they become a health hazard and impossible to identify.

Japan’s Trade Ministry says it has ordered the operators of the damaged nuclear power plant to pay approximately $12,000 to each household forced to evacuate because of radiation leaks.  A Trade Ministry spokesman said approximately 48,000 households within 19 miles of the plant would be eligible for payments from the Tokyo Electric Power Company.

Meanwhile, Japanese doctors have urged workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant to have their blood stem cells stored, in case they're exposed to life-threatening levels of radiation.

In a letter to the medical journal The Lancet, the doctors said it made sense to store blood from the hundreds of workers fighting to save the plant because the process to completely shut down the reactors could take years, during which time the risk of accidental radiation exposure will accumulate.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Multiple Suicide Attack Kills Three Afghan Police Officers

U.S. State Department(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Three police officers were killed and three others injured when a police training center in Afghanistan was attacked by multiple suicide bombers Thursday, according to officials.

The attack took place at an Afghan Local Police training center in the Jaji district of Paktia province.  One suicide bomber managed to set off his explosives, while another was shot down by policemen.  Authorities are searching for a third bomber who got away.

The blast killed two members of the ALP and one member of the Afghan National Police.  Three other members of the ANP were also wounded in the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


At Least Six Dead After Drone Attack in Pakistan

USGS [dot] gov(ISLAMABAD) -- At least six militants were killed in Pakistan Wednesday in the first U.S. drone attack in the country in almost a month.

The attack took place in Angoor Ada, a border town in South Waziristan, and included seven missiles that were fired on a compound.

Wednesday's drone attack was the first in Pakistan since March 17, when an attack in North Waziristan killed more than 40 people.

The latest attack also comes a day after the heads of both the CIA and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence met in Washington, D.C. to discuss the deteriorating relationship between the two intelligence agencies.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Over a Dozen Dead, Injured After School Shooting in Brazil

ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- At least 13 people are dead and 22 others injured after a shooting at an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro Thursday, according to Brazilian officials.

The Globo television network reports that the gunman, Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, was a former student of the school and was able to enter the building by saying he was going to give a lecture.  Upon entering, the 23-year-old gunman went up to the third floor where he opened fired using two guns, which he reloaded several times.

Police responded to the scene after seeing children running away from the school.

Twelve children between the ages of nine and 14 were killed in the shooting.  The gunman also died, although it is unclear at this point if he took his own life or was shot by authorities.  Police did say, however, that he left a letter stating he intended to kill himself.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Coalition Forces Deter Attack on Afghan Base; Kill Seven Insurgents

ABC News(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- At least seven insurgents were killed and another wounded after trying to attack the largest U.S. base in eastern Afghanistan Tuesday night.

According to the International Security Assistance Force, a team of insurgents opened fire on the base in Jalalabad, using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.  Coalition forces responded with small arms and called in a helicopter attack, repelling the attack and leaving several insurgents dead.

Coalition forces managed to detain one insurgent who was wounded in the counterattack and retrieved several automatic weapons, 400 7.62 mm rounds, 19 RPG rounds, two RPG launches and one mortar tube.

No members of the ISAF were killed in the attack.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio