Explosive violence by Islamic StateExplosive violence in Iraq

Double suicide attack kills at least 38 and wounds 105 in Iraq’s capital

Today, January 15th 2018, two suicide bombers detonated their explosives in a busy market in central Baghdad. The casualty toll currently stands at 38 dead and 105 wounded.

The attack took place in Tayran Square during rush hour and the death toll is expected to rise further as many of the injured are said to be in critical condition.

Whilst no group has yet claimed responsibility, ISIS, who have been responsible for many similar attacks in the capital in the past, are the suspected perpetrators.

There has been a significant decrease of such attacks in recent weeks as almost all the territory once held by ISIS has been retaken. However, despite these successes, ISIS are likely to continue to carry out insurgent-style attacks.

Only hours later, another bomb explosion took place in Jamila, a north-eastern district of Baghdad, leaving two killed and six wounded.

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, Iraq saw a 50% increase in civilian deaths from explosive violence, compared to the same period the previous year. This was in line with a 42% increase in such deaths globally.

However, this data also indicates that there was a substantial decrease in civilian deaths from IEDs in Iraq in this 11-month period. The number of civilian deaths from IEDs across the country dropped 51% compared to the same period the previous year, whilst civilian deaths from suicide attacks decreased by 59%.

The overall rise in civilian deaths is accounted for by the increase in those from airstrikes in Iraq, which saw a 446% rise in 2017. In the first 11 months of 2017, airstrikes accounted for 65% of all civilian deaths from explosive violence.

The use of both airstrikes and IEDs in populated areas, where civilians are likely to be harmed, must be prevented. AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all states and groups to stop using weapons with wide-area impacts in populated areas, due to the severe impact these have on civilians.