Special Report - C-IED

Trends in IED Usage in Afghanistan

IEDs - The most common form of attack against ISAF and ANSF in Afghanistan

IEDs are still the most common form of attack used by insurgents against both military and civilian targets in Afghanistan. So far this year there have been 5,921 IED incidents, 648 of which have been effective. Comparing IED incidents and effective attacks in June 2010 with those in June 2009, total IED incidents have increased by 22% and effective attacks have increased by 45%. This increase is largely due to insurgents laying more IEDs in response to the increased number of troops that have been deployed in Afghanistan in recent months. (More than 3,000 troops have been surged to Afghanistan between June 2010 and August 2010)

IED Incidents and Effective Attacks

The number of IED incidents and effective attacks is shown below:

Number IED Incidents in Afghanistan

  IED Incidents Effective Attacks
2010 5,921* 648*
2009 8,206 820
2008 3,867 387
2007 2,677 206

*This figure is for the period January 2010 – August 2010.

“The IED threat will persist. We will see them in the combat theater for many years to come and IEDs and their derivatives will find their way into civilised society in greater numbers in the future.”
LTG Michael Oates, Director, Joint IED Defeat Organization

Civilian Casualties

Although reports of military casualties attributable to IEDs hit the news headlines on an almost daily basis, the vast majority of IED casualties in Afghanistan are civilians (66%). The latest JIEDDO statistics indicate that there have been over 1200 civilian IED casualties since the 1st of January 2010. As well as being vulnerable to suicide attacks, Afghan civilians often fall victim to pressure plate and trip wire based Victim Operated IEDs, which are placed indiscriminately by the Taliban and their allies.

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