Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), a London-based charity monitoring the causes and consequences of explosive violence globally, released their analysis of IED incidents in the first half of 2023. The period from January to June 2023 witnessed a total of 640 incidents involving Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which accounted for 21% of all explosive weapon use during this time frame. A significant number of civilians were affected by these incidents, with 1,456 casualties recorded, including 450 deaths and 1,006 injuries. This casualty toll made up 36% of all IED-related casualties (totaling 4,034) and 16% of all civilian casualties from explosive weapons (totaling 9,252) so far in the year.
These incidents have had a far-reaching impact, with 33 different countries and territories around the world being affected by IEDs in the first half of the year.
In the breakdown of incidents by country, Somalia had the most incidents with 53, which resulted in 246 civilian casualties, including 117 fatalities and 129 injuries. Afghanistan saw 22 incidents leading to 206 civilian casualties, with 63 killed and 143 injured. Pakistan also experienced a significant number of incidents (58), with 176 civilian casualties, 39 of which were fatal, and 137 injuries.
While the majority of incidents, 180, were recorded along roads (16 on roads in populated or urban areas, and 164 in other locations), the majority of civilian casualties, 200, occurred when IEDs were used in urban residential areas. These locations account for 14% of civilian harm from IEDs. 136 civilians were reported killed and injured when IEDs were used across multiple urban areas, 133 on roads, 119 in public buildings, and 105 in places of worship.
Several different groups were identified as the perpetrators of these IED incidents. ISIS was responsible for the most incidents, with 90 recorded, leading to 342 civilian casualties, including 125 deaths and 217 injuries. Al Shabaab followed with 51 incidents, resulting in 220 civilian casualties, 100 fatalities, and 120 injuries. The Baloch Liberation Army was responsible for a smaller number of incidents (8), leading to 20 civilian casualties, with 2 deaths and 18 injuries.
Between the start of AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitoring Project, in 2010, and the end of December 2022, 14,242 incidents involving IEDs were recorded, and 147,482 resulting civilian casualties (40,840 killed, 106,642 injured). In that time, IEDs accounted for 36% of all explosive weapon use recorded globally, and 49% of all civilian casualties from the use of explosive weapons.