On Friday 5 August, at least eight people were killed and 18 injured when an IED exploded in a Shiite neighbourhood in western Kabul. The IED was attached to a handcart loaded with vegetables, parked near a mosque where residents shop for daily food items.
On Saturday 6 August, an IED exploded in a crowded shopping street in another Shiite neighbourhood, in western Kabul, killing at least eight people and injuring at least 22. The blast occurred in a location where members of the Shiite community regularly meet.
The blasts occurred just ahead of Ashura, celebrated on the 10th day of the holy month of Muharram, in commemoration of the death of Imam Hussein Ibn Ali.
Both attacks were claimed by Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K), the Afghan branch of Islamic State (IS).
In total, at least 16 people were killed and 40 injured over the weekend.
Since the Taliban take-over of Afghanistan, on 15 August 2021, AOAV has recorded 94 incidents of explosive weapon use in the country, and 1,610 civilian casualties. Civilians account for 90% of the total 1,797 casualties of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan in that time.
90% of the civilian casualties of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan since 15 Aug 2021 were caused by non-state actors, specifically ISIS-K. In that time, 21 incidents of explosive weapon use have been attributed to ISIS-K, and 1,022 civilian casualties. Civilians account for 90% of the total 1,137 casualties of ISIS-K explosive weapon use.
The majority ISIS-K’s civilian casualties since 15 Aug 2021 have occurred in places of worship, which have also been ISIS-K’s most targeted locations in that time. Urban residential areas have been the second most targeted location for ISIS-K explosive weapon use, followed by public transport, public gathering, multiple urban areas, and roads. While transport-related infrastructure was only targeted once by ISIS-K with explosive weapons since 15 Aug 2021, that attack cause the second most civilian casualties in any location in that time.
Kabul has been ISIS-K’s most targeted region for explosive violence, with 62% of ISIS-K explosive weapon use occurring there since 15 Aug 2021, followed by Balk (14% of incidents), Kunduz (10%), Nangarhar (10%), and Kandahar (5%). The majority, 57%, of civilian casualties have occurred in Kabul, while 14% happened in Kandahar.
The international community is calling on the Taliban to protect its religious minorities, in particular, Shiite Muslims, from violence.
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.
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