Explosive violence in AfghanistanAOAV: all our reports

Over 15 killed and 20 injured in explosion at a religious school in Aybak, Afghanistan, 30 Nov

On 30 November, over 15 civilians were killed and 20 injured when a bomb exploded in a religious school in Aybak, the capital of Afghanistan’s Samangan province. The blast happened just after afternoon prayers, and most of the casualties are reportedly male students between the ages of nine and 15. 

Afghanistan’s Tolo news agency reports 19 fatalities, and specifies that it was not a suicide attack, but an explosive placed in a hall and then detonated.

No group has claimed responsibility for the blast so far. 

In 2022 so far, AOAV has recorded 83 incidents of intentional explosive weapon use in Afghanistan, and 1,256 reported civilian casualties. 83% (69) of incidents occurred in populated areas, as did 98% (1,236) of civilian casualties.

51% (42) of those incidents involved the use of non-specific IEDs, and 20% (17) involved roadside bombs. Non-specific IEDs caused 77% (973) of recorded civilian casualties of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan in 2022. 

Roads were the most frequently targeted locations of explosive violence in Afghanistan this year, accounting for 20% (17) of recorded incidents. Urban residential areas accounted for 18% (15), and places of worship 17% (14). However, places of worship saw the majority, 44% (553) of recorded civilian casualties, followed by 18% (230) in schools, which only account for 6% (5) of incidents. 

Non-state actors reportedly caused 92% (1,157) of the civilian casualties – in particular Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), the IS affiliate in Afghanistan, are the reported perpetrators of 30% (374) of civilian casualties of explosive violence in Afghanistan in 2022. 

In total, since 2010, AOAV has recorded 4,884 incidents of explosive violence in Afghanistan, and 33,222 reported civilian casualties (11,001 killed, 22,221 injured). 2019 was the most injurious year for civilians in Afghanistan, accounting for the majority, 14% (4,630), of total civilian casualties in Afghanistan in that time. 

In that time, non-state actors have been the reported perpetrators in the case of 69% (22,827) of recorded civilian casualties, in particular the Taliban (8,732 civilian casualties) and ISIS-K (4,306). 

11% (577) of incidents were recorded as suicide attacks, and suicide attacks accounted for 48% (15,994) of reported civilian casualties of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan since 2010. 80% of all recorded casualties of suicide attacks (20,110) were civilians. 

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.