What is an Improvised Explosive Device (IED)?

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The Kerala Police chief confirmed that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was used in the multiple blasts that took place at the convention centre of a Christian religious group in Kochi recently.

About Improvised Explosive Device (IED)

  • An IED is a type of unconventional explosive weapon that can take any form and be activated in a variety of ways.
  • IEDs are used by criminals, vandals, terrorists, suicide bombers, and insurgents.
  • Because they are improvised, IEDs can come in many forms, ranging from a small pipe bomb to a sophisticated device capable of causing massive damage and loss of life.
  • The extent of damage caused by an IED depends on its size, construction, and placement and whether it incorporates a high explosive or propellant.
  • The term IED came into common usage during the Iraq War that began in 2003.
  • Elements of an IED:
    • It consists of a variety of components that include an initiator, switch, main charge, power source, and container.
    • IEDs may be surrounded by or packed with additional materials or “enhancements” such as nails, glass, or metal fragments designed to increase the amount of shrapnel propelled by the explosion.
    • An IED can be initiated by a variety of methods depending on the intended target.
  • Materials Used as Explosives in IEDs:
    • Many commonly available materials, such as fertilizer, gunpowder, and hydrogen peroxide, are used as explosive materials in IEDs.
    • Explosives contain fuel and an oxidizer, which provides the oxygen needed to sustain the reaction.

Q1) What is hydrogen peroxide?

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a colourless liquid usually produced as aqueous solutions of various strengths, used principally for bleaching cotton and other textiles and wood pulp, in the manufacture of other chemicals, as a rocket propellant, and for cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Solutions containing more than about 8 percent hydrogen peroxide are corrosive to the skin.

Source: Kerala police chief confirms use of IED for Kalamassery convention centre blasts