In the worst day of violence seen so far this year in Iraq, the capital, Baghdad, was struck by a series of bombings. The attacks on Tuesday, May 17th 2016, killed at least 77 and injured more than 140. Though this total is expected to increase, with many of those injured said to be in critical condition.
In the first attack, in the al Shaab district, a car bomb was detonated, followed by the detonation of a female suicide bomber. This double bombing alone killed 41 and wounded 70.
The second attack in Sadr City – a car bomb – killed a further 30 and injured 57.
In al Rasheed, just south of the capital, another car bomb killed six and injured 21.
The two initial attacks were claimed by the Sunni militant group, ISIS, and continued to target predominantly Shiite areas of the capital.
The series of violence perpetrated by ISIS over the last week across Iraq has killed over 100. The attack last Wednesday, May 11th 2016, in the Shiite district of Sadr City which killed 64 and injured 87.
ISIS have used IEDs persistently across Iraq in order to target civilians in highly populated areas. Last year, IEDs were responsible for 4,078 civilian deaths and injuries – 80% of the total civilian deaths and injuries in Iraq.
AOAV has recorded 22 IED incidents in Iraq accounting for some 911 civilian deaths and injuries just in the first three months of 2016. Of these, 9 attacks were suicide bombings. The suicide bombings alone resulted in 512 civilian deaths and injuries – an average of 57 deaths and injuries per attack.
Attacks on markets too are considered particularly lethal for civilian populations. AOAV Explosive Violence Monitor 2015 found that typically, 99% of those killed and injured in explosive violence in markets are civilians.
It is evident that IEDs, especially suicide bombings, are extremely lethal and are seeing wider and wider use. AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor 2015 found that of all IED attacks, the ones that posed the most danger were suicide attacks.
AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. States must urgently address the threat of suicide bombings and other forms of IED attacks. Reports by AOAV show the increasing use and harm of suicide bombings around the world. It is a growing reality that highlights the need for urgent preventative measures that States should establish – such as stockpile controls – to limit groups’ ability to produce these and other IEDs.
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