Explosive violence by Islamic StateExplosive violence in Iraq

ISIS suicide attacks in southern Iraq kill at least 74

Yesterday, September 14th 2017, ISIS claimed responsibility for two suicide attacks in southern Iraq. The attacks are reported to have killed at least 74, and wounded a further 93.

The deadliest attack targeted a crowded restaurant in Nasiriyah, where an attacker detonated his suicide vest, whilst others threw grenades and fired on the customers.

The second attack saw a car bomb target a security checkpoint in the same area.

The attackers were said to be disguised as members of the Hashed al-Shaabi – predominantly Shiite paramilitary units.

Many Iranians are thought to be among the casualties. The location of the attacks sees many Shiite pilgrims and visitors from neighbouring Iran, heading for the holy cities.

Last year, Iraq saw at least 6,359 civilian death and injuries from explosive violence reported in English-language media. Of these, 76% were caused by IEDs.

The numbers of civilians killed or injured by IEDs in Iraq increased by 19% despite the number of IED incidents decreasing (from 228 in 2015 to 207 in 2016).

The number of civilians killed and injured by suicide attacks increased by 121% in 2016, compared to the previous year.

Across the globe, AOAV recorded 12,673 deaths and injuries from 256 suicide bombings in 2016. Of these, 9,680 of those killed and injured were civilians (76%), representing a slight rise of 5% from 2015, or a 90% rise since 2011.

AOAV calls on states to urgently address the threat of suicide bombings and other forms of IED attacks. Reports by AOAV show the increasing threat of suicide bombings around the world. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.

For more on counter-IED initiatives, please see here. To read AOAV’s recent report, Understanding the rising cult of the suicide bomber, please see here.