Explosive violence by Islamic StateExplosive violence in Yemen

Suicide bombers kill at least 45 in Yemen

aden bombingsThe attacks that took place Monday morning, May 23rd 2016, are said to have killed at least 45 and injured 60 in Aden, south Yemen.

The first incident, a car bomb, targeted army recruits as they were lining up to enlist. The recruits were said to be hoping to join the fight against the Houthi rebels in Northern Yemen. This first blast is believed to have killed at least 20.

The second suicide bomber detonated his vest among another group of recruits. The bomb killed 25 as they waited outside the home of an army commander.

ISIS – who have continued to take advantage of the increasing instability throughout Yemen since the outbreak of civil war in March last year – were quick to claim both attacks.

It was only last Sunday, May 15th, that ISIS targeted police recruits lining up outside a centre in Mukalla, Yemen. The blasts killed 47 and injured 51.

Last year, Yemen was the second worst affected country from explosive violence. AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor recorded 6,286 civilian deaths and injuries in 2015. The only country worse affected was Syria.

AOAV found that of the incidents recorded in 2015, 17 incidents of explosive violence were perpetrated by ISIS. These 17 incidents were all perpetrated by Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and killed and injured 757 civilians. Of these IED attacks, at least six were suicide bombs, which were responsible for 71% of all civilian deaths and injuries from ISIS IED attacks in Yemen.

Though Monday’s assaults represent non-state violence in Yemen, in 2015 the main perpetrators of explosive violence in Yemen were state actors. The Saudi-led coalition alone was responsible for 3,958 civilian deaths and injuries – 63% of all civilian deaths and injuries in Yemen in 2015 from explosive violence.

However, it remains 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.