Boston in context: There were 21 incidents around the world last week involving makeshift bombs


(Via Civil-Military Fusion Centre)

Last week's tragic bombings in Boston have drawn renewed attention to improvised explosive devices, the homemade bombs that have wreaked havoc in Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflict areas for years.

IED attacks, while rare in the United States are more common in other parts of the world, including some you might not expect. According to NATO’s Civil-Military Fusion Centre, which tracks IED events, there were 21 major incidents the week of the Boston bombings, with nearly 60 casualties in all. An “IED event” refers to any time an improvised bomb is found, regardless of whether it goes off.

Here, for context, is the Fusion Centre’s list of global IED events for April 9-15, ordered by number of casualties:

Baghdad, Iraq, April 15: 21 killed, 65 wounded by a series of six bombs

Peshawar, Pakistan, April 13: 8 killed, 7 injured by bomb

Diyala, Iraq, April 12: 7 killed, 25 wounded by bomb

Zabul, Afghanistan, April 11: 7 killed, 4 injured by roadside bomb

Boston, April 14: 3 killed, more than 200 injured by two bombs

Uruzgan, Afghanistan, April 11: 3 killed by roadside bomb

Mogadishu, Somalia, April 14: 3 killed by roadside bomb

Pattani, Thailand, April 11: 2 killed, 6 injured by roadside bomb

Charsadda, Pakistan, April 13: 1 killed, five injured by two roadside bombs

Costa Mesa, Calif., April 15: 1 killed by bomb

Herat, Afghanistan, April 12: 2 injured by suicide bomb

Sanni, Pakistan, April 13: 2 injured by roadside bomb

Imphal, India, April 15: 2 injured by two bombs

Cotabato, Philippines, April 15: No casualties

Diyala, Iraq, April 15: Three bombs defused without casualties

Bannu, Pakistan, April 14: Two bombs defused without casualties

Isabela City, Philippines, April 9: One bomb defused without casualties

Nafferton, England, April 10: One bomb defused without casualties

Flagstaff, Ariz., April 12: One bomb defused without casualties

Karachi, Pakistan, April 12: One bomb defused without casualties

Gilgit, Pakistan, April 15: One bomb defused without casualties

You might have noticed that there were three events in the United States. Last week, a bomb squad in Flagstaff, Ariz., quietly neutralized an IED mailed to controversial Sheriff Joe Apaio, while a man in Costa Mesa, Calif., killed himself and panicked his neighbors when he set off an IED in his home.

IEDs are, of course, even more common in the conflict zones of the Middle East, where the explosives, long favored by terrorist groups, have been used to assassinate politicians, kill soldiers and terrorize civilians in markets, mosques and other public places.

A picture that circulated on social media after the Boston attacks shows a group of young people in Syria, many holding flags and flashing the peace sign, with a banner that reads: “Boston bombings represent a sorrowful scene of what happens everyday in Syria. Do accept our condolences.”

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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