On Wednesday 27 July, two explosive attacks took place in Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region, which resulted in the death of at least 20 people and the injury of at least 19.
13 people were killed and five injured in a suicide IED attack outside the entrance to the district headquarters in the town of Marka, minutes after a meeting ended. The district commissioner was amongst those killed, as well as traditional elders and women.
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
Not long after, seven people were killed and 14 injured when a landmine exploded at a crowded livestock market in Afgoye. The explosion damaged nearby buildings and shops.
Al Shabaab claims the attack killed two soldiers, but hasn’t claimed responsibility for the attack itself.
Since 2010, AOAV has recorded 1,035 incidents of explosive weapon use in Somalia, resulting in 9,002 reported civilian casualties (3,494 killed, 5,508 injured).
In that time, the majority of civilian casualties, 73%, have been caused by IEDs, in particular car bombs (4,447 civilian casualties), non-specific IEDs (1,360), and roadside bombs (478).
Non-state actors are the reported perpetrators in the case of 73% of civilian casualties in Somalia since 2010, while state actors are the reported perpetrators of 5% of civilian casualties. Actors of unknown name and status account for 15% of civilian casualties.
Of the 6,598 civilian casualties attributed to non-state actors, 71% have been attributed to Al Shabaab, and 29% to unknown non-state actors.
In 2022, AOAV has recorded 40 incidents of explosive weapon use in Somalia so far, and 432 civilian casualties. 91% of those casualties are attributed to IEDs, and 88% to Al Shabaab.
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 affects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.