On Sunday, July 22nd 2018, a suicide bomber targeted crowds that had gathered at Kabul airport to welcome home Afghanistan’s Vice President, Abdul Rashid Dostum, from exile. The blast left 23 dead and at least 107 injured.
The Vice President, travelling in an armoured car, escaped harm.
The death toll released initially reported 14 dead and 60 injured but warned this could change. By Monday the health ministry reported the higher casualty toll.
ISIS claimed the suicide attack through its official Amaq news agency.
In the first half of 2018, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 2,002 civilian casualties from explosive violence in Afghanistan, compared to the 1,581 civilian casualties recorded in the same period last year – an increase of 27%.
From January to the end of June 2018, the main cause of civilian casualties from explosive violence in Afghanistan continued to be improvised explosive devices (IEDs), responsible for 83% of all civilian casualties.
There was a 345% increase in the number of civilian casualties from IED attacks claimed by ISIS and their affiliates in Afghanistan (136 to 605). Of these, 99.5% (602) were caused by suicide attacks.
AOAV 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. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.
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