On Saturday, January 27th 2018, a suicide bomber used an ambulance full of explosives to pass into a secure zone in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. The bombing killed at least 103, with another 235 left injured in the attack.
The blast occurred near foreign embassies and the offices of the High Peace Council. The blast went off among police waiting to get documents processed at a nearby Interior Ministry office. Shopkeepers and customers were also amongst the dead and wounded.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber was able to get through the security checkpoint by telling police he was taking a patient to nearby Jamhuriat hospital.
As emergency personnel and vehicles arrived to the scene, many feared another attack. Some ambulance crew were held at gunpoint as their vehicles were inspected.
The attack came a week after the Taliban stormed a luxury hotel in Kabul, killing 22 people, and days after Afghanistan’s ISIS-affiliate carried out an attack on the local Save the Children office in Jalalabad, which killed six.
AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.
Our latest data shows that in the first 11 months of 2017 there was a 42% increase in civilian deaths from explosive violence globally, compared to the same period in 2016. Afghanistan also saw a large increase in civilian deaths from explosive weapons, with a 74% rise compared to the previous year.
The majority (82%) of civilian casualties (deaths and injuries) were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). And in total, in the 11-month period, non-state use of explosive weapons in the country caused 88% of the total civilian casualties. Further, there was a 28% increase in civilian casualties caused by non-state use of explosive weapons, compared to the same period in 2016.
AOAV calls on all states to urgently address the threat of IED attacks. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.
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