Afghanistan

Twin blasts kill 14 and injure 45 in Bamiyan, Afghanistan

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By Verity Hubbard

On 24 November at least 14 people were killed and 45 wounded by two explosions in the city of Bamiyan, central Afghanistan.

The two magnetic bombs, one hidden near a marketplace and the other near a hospital, killed 12 civilians as well as two traffic policemen. The victims reportedly included children and university students.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but two suspects have been arrested. The Taliban has denied its involvement in the bombings.

Bamiyan had been one of the country's safest provinces. The city of Bamiyan- isolated in the mountains- has avoided the large-scale attacks that have become ubiquitous elsewhere in Afghanistan. The two bombings have been described as the deadliest attack in Bamiyan for more than a decade.

Bamiyan is home to members of the mainly Shiite Hazara ethnic minority. Thousands of Hazaras were killed during the rule of the Taliban and the group has been repeatedly targeted by Islamic State.

Explosive violence has surged in Afghanistan as peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban in Doha continue to stall. On 21 November, three people were killed and 11 injured when 14 rockets were fired on Kabul, and on 8 November, 14 were killed in a VBIED (vehicle-borne improvised explosive device) attack on Kandahar province (see AOAV's response piece).

According to Afghanistan's Interior Ministry, in the past six months, the Taliban have conducted 53 suicide attacks and detonated 1,250 explosive devices that have left 1,210 civilians dead and 2,500 wounded.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

In 2020 AOAV has recorded 1,313 civilian casualties and 1,154 military casualties from explosive violence in Afghanistan.

AOAV strongly condemns the attacks in Bamiyan and urgently calls for states to collaborate to address the threat of explosive violence. The use of explosive weaponry in populated areas has far reaching implications and preventative measures must be implemented to reduce the serious impact on civilians.