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Afghanistan: eight children killed in ERW blasts over past week

UNICEF has announced that at least eight children lost their lives due to unexploded ordnance throughout Afghanistan last week.

“Unexploded weaponry is having a devastating impact on children in Afghanistan. In 2022, more than 700 children were killed or maimed because of unexploded ordnances and war remnants. An average of two children every day. It is crucial to work together to protect children.”


Between 19 and 26 March 2023, AOAV recorded the following incidents:

19/03/2023One woman and five children killed in legacy grenade explosion in a house in Ghorqand village, Ghor. All were members of the same family.
23/03/2023One child killed, five children injured in legacy mortar explosion while playing in Chahardeh village, Ghazni.
24/03/2023Two children killed, five children injured in explosion of grenade they were playing with in Tagab, Badakhshan.

In total, AOAV has recorded 2,413 civilians killed and injured by mines, victim-activated IEDs, and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Afghanistan since 2010. Overall, civilians accounted for 76% of casualties of such explosions. 

Not including ERW explosions, accidental detonations, and stockpile explosions, since  2010 AOAV has recorded 4,907 incidents of intentional explosive weapon use in Afghanistan, which have killed and injured at least 33,444 civilians – 58% of the total 57,315 recorded casualties in the country. 

In that time, IEDs have caused 79% (26,417) of civilian harm. Non-specific IEDs caused the most civilian casualties (13,734), but car bombs have been the most injurious IEDs, killing and injuring an average of 24 civilians per bombing.

Ground-launched weapons have caused 3,525 civilian casualties in Afghanistan since 2010, and air-launched weapons 2,671.

Despite a significant drop in civilian casualties recorded in Afghanistan in 2022, from 3,051 the previous year to 1,314 – a 57% decrease – the country remained the second most impacted for civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence last year.

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.