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Wedding blast kills more than 60 in Kabul, Afghanistan

On Saturday, August 17th 2019, a suicide bomber targeted a wedding in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. The bombing left 63 dead and over 180 wounded.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack. The attack was condemned by the Taliban.

The bombing took place in a district mostly populated by Shia Muslims – a frequent target of attacks.

Just ten days earlier, on August 7th 2019, a suicide car bomb in Kabul killed at least 14 and injured 145. The vehicle was detonated outside a police station in the capital. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Violence continues to escalate in Afghanistan and the capital is the worst impacted.

Last month, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded over 1,000 civilian casualties from explosive violence in Afghanistan.

This is the highest number of monthly civilian casualties recorded in Afghanistan since AOAV began monitoring casualties from explosive violence in October 2010.

Civilians accounted for 66% (1,013) of the total casualties from explosive violence (1,540). Of the civilians killed and injured, 89% (901) were from improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Suicide attacks alone were responsible over half of all civilian casualties (53%).

Kabul was the city most impacted in July 2019, with almost a third of all civilian casualties occurring in the capital (30%).

In the first seven months of 2019 as a whole, there have been 2,340 civilian casualties from explosive violence in the beleaguered nation. There have been at least 21 suicide attacks in this time, responsible for 1,051 casualties – of which civilians account for 70%.

Despite such levels of harm in Afghanistan, AOAV have also found that the UK media often fails to record the casualties caused in this violence.

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.