Today, July 31st 2018, a roadside bomb hit a passenger bus in Bala Buluk district of Farah province, Afghanistan, killing at least 11 and injuring a further 31. All the casualties are reported to be civilians, with women and children amongst them.
The bus had been travelling from Herat province towards Kabul.
No group has yet claimed the bombing but the Taliban have been known to plant roadside bombs in the area in attempts to target security personnel and government officials.
Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has been monitoring explosive violence harm across the globe since October 2010.
In the first half of 2018, Action on Armed Violence 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 continues to be improvised explosive devices (IEDs), responsible for 83% of all civilian casualties.
However, AOAV recorded a 16% reduction in the number of civilian casualties from IED attacks claimed by the Taliban in the first half of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017 (from 484 to 406). Whilst at the same time, 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).
With civilian casualties from IEDs increasing year-on-year in Afghanistan since 2013, 2017 saw a rise of 40% compared to the previous year. And, for the first time in AOAV’s recording, Afghanistan was the country worst impacted by IEDs – a spot claimed by Iraq for the previous six years.
With civilian casualties already set to be higher this year in Afghanistan, the level of IED harm should be of considerable concern.
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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