The wounding patterns of blast injuries are well known to any military medic who has served recently on operations, with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) constituting a significant proportion of the casualties on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Sadly the IED threat is no longer confined to war zones, with a series of high profile, mass-casualty IED terror events occurring in places of mass gathering in first-world countries in recent years.

Terrorists have come to favour explosives because of their proven ability to inflict mass casualties, cause fear and disruption in the community, and attract media interest (ANZCTC 2016).

Recent mass-casualty events of international significance include the Boston Marathon bombing of April 2013, the Charlie Hebdo shootings of January 2015 and the November attacks in Paris the same year. More recently we have seen the airport bombings in Brussels and Istanbul, and once again another mass-casualty terrorist attack in Nice, France when a truck drove into crowds on 14 July 2016, killing 84 people and injuring in excess of 300 more.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the following poignant statement on the day of the Istanbul Airport bombing: