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Three IEDs detonate against logistics convoy travelling in southern Basra Province

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Between 14:20-14:40 on 6 July, three IEDs detonated against a logistics convoy in the southern Basra Province, damaging at least two vehicles, and wounding an Egyptian driver. The convoy was associated with Anham, a prominent logistics company with major branches comprised of Dubai-based Anham FZCO, and Virginia-based Anham USA. Anham was the largest contractor providing food services to US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan but was suspended for fraud earlier in 2019. Anham reportedly continues to fulfill contracts supporting diplomatic missions including the US Embassy.

Official security sources were initially reluctant to discuss the incident.  Local sources vaguely asserted that this incident was connected to a lucrative logistics contract, with potential perpetrators ranging from diverse organized crime, militia, tribal, and political actors. Extortion efforts affecting IOCs and other international commercial organizations form an established consideration in Basra and elsewhere in the Southern Region.

Reporting concerning this prevalent form criminal activity is assessed to be heavily underreported, with released details often vague.  Related counteractions were recently highlighted on 28 June, when ISF arrested six individuals charged with theft and extorting Iraqi and foreign companies operating in the areas of northern Basra Province. The individuals were also charged with conducting a number of intimidation-style attacks in order to ensure payments were issued.

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