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ISIS attack in Pakistan’s Orakzai kills 33

On November 23rd 2018, a suicide blast targeted a local market in Kalaya area of lower Orakzai district, killing 33 and injuring 56.

Many were critically injured in the attack and were moved to the hospitals of larger towns, including Kohat and Peshawar.

Islamic State claimed responsibility through their Amaq news agency for the blast the following day, which they said was targeted at the Shiite Muslims attending the market.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has been monitoring explosive violence harm across the globe since October 2010.

In Pakistan in 2017 the number of civilian casualties from explosive weapons increased by 51% compared to the previous year. Of those casualties, 58% were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and 49% were caused by incidents involving suicide bombers.

However, in 2018 civilian casualties from explosive violence in Pakistan have decrease by almost 50%, with 1,069 civilian casualties recorded to the end of October in 2018, compared to 2,067 recorded in the same period last year.

Nevertheless, IEDs still account for the majority (67%) of civilian harm from explosive weapons in Pakistan. And, casualties from ISIS attacks in the country do appear on the rise.

AOAV condemns the attack in Pakistan 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. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.