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At least 80 dead and 350 injured in powerful rush-hour bombing in Kabul

Update: The death toll a week later stands at 150.

Today, May 31st 2017, a huge blast caused by the detonation of explosives hidden in a water tank tore through Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul’s diplomatic quarter killing at least 80 and injuring another 350.

This is the latest in a series of attacks in Afghanistan, with a resurgence of activity by both the Taliban and ISIS.

The Taliban has denied responsibility for this most recent bombing and condemned such untargeted attacks with so many civilian casualties. ISIS have so far made no comment of the attack.

The bomb detonated near the German Embassy and the French and Chinese embassies also sustained damage in the blast. The majority of the casualties are reported to be civilians.

Hours after the blast ambulances were still rushing between the blast site and the crowded nearby hospitals. It is thought that the death toll is still likely to rise.

Wazir Akbar Khan in one of the most guarded enclaves in the city. People were angered that despite this, such attacks still continue to take place.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has been monitoring explosive violence harm across the globe since 2011. Between 2011-2016 Afghanistan has seen 20,625 deaths and injuries from explosive violence. Last year, Afghanistan saw over 2,000 deaths and injuries from explosive violence. 84% of civilian casualties were caused by IEDs.

53% of all civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence in Afghanistan last year occurred in Kabul.

AOAV condemns the attacks in Afghanistan, and calls for states and international organisations to work collaboratively to generate greater awareness of the number of civilians killed and injured each year by IEDs, and encourage a greater stigma from political, religious and social leaders on the use of IEDs.

AOAV strongly condemns all violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. States must urgently address the threat of IED attacks. 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 latest report, Understanding the regional and transnational networks that facilitate IED use, please read here.