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Kabul, Afghanistan: 20 killed and 40 injured in ISIS-K suicide attack, 11 Jan

On the afternoon of Wednesday 11 January, an ISIS-K suicide bomber attempted to enter the foreign ministry in Kabul. Failing to do so, he detonated his explosives outside, killing up to 20 people and injuring at least 40. 

The Kabul police spokesperson confirmed the official death toll was five, but a Taliban official said up to 20 people were killed. A nearby NGO-run hospital received over 40 injured civilians following the blast. 

Afghanistan has experienced dozens of blasts and consistent insecurity since the Taliban seized power in  2021, amidst the group’s claims they would bring security to the region. A string of attacks has targeted foreigners or foreign interests in recent months, at a time when the Taliban is trying to attract investment from neighbouring countries.

In total, AOAV has recorded 4,893 incidents of intentional explosive weapon use in Afghanistan since 2010, and 33,372 civilian casualties (11,046 killed and 22,326 injured). In that time, non-state actors have reportedly caused 43% (2,107) of incidents and 69% (22,953) of civilian casualties, while state actors account for 32% (1,564) of incidents and 10% (3,339) of civilian casualties. 

The Taliban are the reported perpetrators in the case of 26% (8,760) of civilian casualties of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan since 2010, followed by the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, Islamic State Khorasan Province, or ISIS-K, who caused 13% (4,400) of civilian casualties. 

Correspondingly, IEDs account for the majority of  incidents recorded in Afghanistan in that time, 58% (2,816), as well as the majority of civilian casualties, 79% (26,345).  Suicide attacks account for 20% (558) of these IED attacks, but they caused 59% (15,465) of civilian casualties of IEDs in Afghanistan since 2010. 

Armed bases have been the most frequently targeted locations for suicide attacks in Afghanistan since 2010, accounting for 16% (92) of suicide attacks. Roads account for 14% (80) of suicide attacks, public buildings for 14% (79), and police stations for 11% (60). 

However, the most affected locations for civilian casualties of suicide attacks in Afghanistan are public buildings, which account for 18% (2,832) of civilian casualties of suicide attacks in the country since 2010. Places of worship account for 15% (2,367) of civilian casualties. 

In total, AOAV has recorded 2,318 suicide attacks globally since 2010, and 66,882 resulting civilian casualties. Suicide attacks account for 45% of all civilian casualties recorded globally since 2010. 

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.