Explosive violence in Afghanistan

Over 100 killed and injured in a blast at a mosque in Afghanistan

On Friday, October 18th 2019, a suicide bomber detonated their explosives as the men of Jawdara village, in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, gathered for their weekly congregational prayer. The attack killed 73 and injured a further 30.

In a village of just 70 families, the blast in responsible for killing the husbands and fathers of most families in the village. 23 of those killed were teenagers or younger. Women began to dig through the rubble, eventually aided by neighbouring villagers.

The village’s only doctor, Mohammed Aref, was killed in the blast, as well as his two brothers and two sons. Two teachers were also killed.

AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

Afghanistan was the country worst impacted by explosive weapons in September; with 800 civilian casualties from such violence last month. While 70% of civilian casualties in Afghanistan were caused by IEDs last month, 19% were caused by airstrikes and 11% by ground-launched explosives.

AOAV recorded six high civilian casualty incidents (more than 40 dead and injured) of explosive violence by the Taliban. Five were suicide attacks and one was a mortar shelling. The worst of these incidents occurred on September 2nd 2019, when a suicide car bomb hit a residential area near Green Village, a large compound housing aid agencies and international organisations, in central Kabul. The attack left at least 135 civilians dead and injured.

The attacks in Afghanistan sees 2019 continue to be the worst year for civilian casualties from explosive violence in the country since AOAV began recording in 2010. In total, AOAV has recorded 3,883 civilian casualties from explosive weapons in Afghanistan between January and September 2019.

AOAV calls for states and international organisations to work collaboratively to generate greater awareness of the number of civilians killed and injured by IEDs, and encourage a greater stigma from political, religious and social leaders on the use of IEDs.