Yesterday, January 16th 2018, a mortar attack on a local bazaar in Faryab province, Afghanistan, killed at least 5 and wounded a further 45. As many of the injured were in a critical condition, the death toll may rise.
The wounded included women and children.
The attack occurred at 10am local time and saw three mortar rounds fired on the bazaar in Khwaja Sabz Posh district. Whilst no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, both the Taliban and ISIS have a presence in the province.
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.
Whilst the majority (82%) of civilian casualties (deaths and injuries) were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), rather than ground-launched weapons (5%), such as mortars, it remained the case that non-state actors that were responsible for the most civilian harm from explosive violence in Afghanistan.
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 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.
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