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Roadside bomb kills 11 pilgrims in Afghanistan’s Kandahar

On July 15th 2019, a roadside bomb blast left 11 killed and 35 injured when their bus hit the device in Khakrez district in Afghanistan Kandahar province.

The blast occurred as the bus was heading to a shrine that houses the tomb of Sufi Shah Agha.

Among those critically wounded were 22 children and eight women.

No group claimed responsibility for the bombing but a member of the local council blamed the Taliban.

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

Last year, AOAV recorded a significant increase in casualties from explosive violence in Afghanistan. Civilian casualties increased by 37%; from 3,119 civilian casualties in 2017, to 4,260 in 2018.

However, whilst most (78%) of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) – and, notably, 61% (2,616) were from suicide attacks – ISIS were the main perpetrators.

Casualties from Taliban use of explosive actually decreased by 27%, though it is increasingly difficult to attribute responsibility. (There was a 37% increase in civilian casualties from incidents by non-state actors where the perpetrating group was unknown.)

So far this year, AOAV has recorded a decrease in explosive violence, with 1,327 civilian casualties recorded in the first half of 2019, compared to 2,002 in the same period last year – a decrease of 34%. Of the casualties in 2019, 867 were from IEDs, compared to 1,656 in the first half of 2018.

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.