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AfghanistanIslamic State

Dozens killed in suicide bombing on New Year festival at Kabul shrine

On Wednesday, March 21st 2018, at least 29 were killed and 52 injured in a suicide bomb attack near a shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, as crowds gathered to celebrate the start of Nowruz, the New Year festival.

The Islamic State claimed the bombing, which targeted the crowd of Shias attending the celebrations at the Sakhi shrine – one of the largest in the city.

Many young people who had been celebrating were amongst the casualties.

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.