Yemen Suicide Bombing

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Colonel_Ranter, May 21, 2012.

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  1. A suicide bomber has made a bit of a mess of a parade rehearsal in Sanaa.

    BBC News - 'Al-Qaeda attack' on Yemen army parade causes carnage

    I am not an explosives expert, so I am not sure how one guy carries enough explosive in a belt to kill 90 and injure 222. I thought that you needed a truck bomb to cause that sort of carnage. Is this a record for a pedestrian suicide bomber?
  2. Suicide bombers tend to use plastic explosives which are many times more powerful the home made explosives often used in VBIEDs.

    A suicide bomber could easily carry 20-30kg of explosive rigged about them. Press some shipyard confetti (nuts, bolts etc). And it becomes extremely effective at killing.

    Iraq has seen suicide bombers kill over 100 at a time on a few occasions.
  3. Thanks, Dingerr. I hadn't appreciated the power of the modern stuff. I suppose that the lack of cover on a parade square will not have helped the lads around him, either.
  4. Not only that, any containment of explosives can amplify its effects.
  5. Just seen the video on the news. Not pretty viewing.
  6. How is he going to enjoy his virgins when he's just a pair of smoking boots on the parade square?
  7. Goatman

    Goatman LE Book Reviewer

    Very nasty opening sequence in 'Swordfish' where some bank blagger detonates a bomb-vest on his female hostage gives the impression.....and I'm told it's usually the head that is all that remains, as the head tends to go vertically following everything else turning into pink mist. Dingerr may be able to tell you this is arrse-wipe.

    Suicide bombs amongst densely packed Shia pilgrims in Karbala, Iraq killed 53 and wounded 140 a few years ago. I'm not sure Ross/Norris McWhirter wishes to get involved in this particular 'record'

    For a depressing read

    List of suicide bombings in Iraq in 2010 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    people are already beginning to forget just how sh1t Iraq ten years time some former Service man is going to limp in to his GP asking for a new prosthesis and in reply to the question

    ' Where did your accident happen ? '

    give the response ' car bomb in Az Zubayr '

    ...cue head shakes all round ....
  8. Excuse me if its a crass question, I don't intend it to be. The TV pictures were taken from a distance but there did not look to be that many bodies. Would you expect that no trace was found of many people in this kind of thing?

    How do these things work, is it blast and shockwave mainly or heat? Often when you see the aftermath of car bombs it looks like there was a lot if heat but there wasn't much evidence of that yesterday. Does it all depend on the explosive used?
  9. Depends on the explosive used.

    As Dingerr said if plastic explosives + scrap metal was used then the shrapnel velocities would be of the order of km/s. In a crowd the ones nearby would be torn apart by the blast shockwave and shrapnel. Further away it would be fragments doing the killing by passing through one body after another. The human body is an effective absorber of blast energy.

    As an approximation you can use the Gurney equations to estimate fragment velocities:
    Gurney equations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So we can expect RDX for example (main component of C4 and PE4) to propel fragments at a velocity of 2.83 km/s.

    Fertiliser-based bombs have a lower detonation velocities but are often much larger.

    Radiant heat from a bomb is a small factor in its destructive capability, unless it is aluminised. The soot you often see left behind in bombings is because most explosives have an oxygen deficit and produce soot as a result.
  10. Detonating any explosive in the vicinity of people is a chaotic event. It's impossible to predict what will happen and there are often surprising tales of survival. Getting just a metre or two away can make a big difference in outcomes.
  11. Likewise one can be far away and be randomly hit by shrapnel.


    If you want more predictable results with what explosives will do, use a "non fragmenting" plastic or fibre-reinforced polymer casing and mix the explosives with a dense powder like lead, copper or tungsten.
  12. Thanks both of you. I learnt something.