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Suicide bomber kills 5 at wedding in Afghanistan

On July 12th 2019, a suicide bomber targeted a wedding in Pacheragam district of Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, killing five and injuring 40. The bomber was said to be a teenage boy.

The explosives were detonated in the house of a pro-government militia commander, who had organised the wedding.

No group claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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.