Improvised Explosive Laden Magazines in Yemen

    A recent news report in Arabic has highlighted the efforts of opposition forces in Yemen to emplace IEDs within Kalashnikov magazines, just above the floor plates of the magazines themselves. The magazines have several rounds loaded, around 4-8 to be precise. The tactic employed appears to necessitate the rounds being taken out of the magazine, either by hand or by actually firing them in a rifle. When the spring pressure has weakened enough, or the follower has reached a certain point, this connects an electrical circuit, completing the process of ignition and thereby blowing the main charge within the magazine itself, with the ends to seriously injure or kill the user of the magazine. Yemeni security forces took these magazines while searching a vehicle enroute to San’a, and made them safe. However, it would appear that the magazines were intended to be battlefield pick ups, or otherwise emplaced around security forces that would find them, either unload them manually or shoot the cartridges.

    We earlier reported on efforts in Syria accomplishing the same task but much more overt with an IED behind the bolt, inside the receiver, designed to go off when the bolt was charged to the rear. This method of emplacing the IED in magazines looks to be much more effective than the Syrian one, and thus more dangerous for security forces across the MENA region. Not only have insurgent groups been working with rigged rifles, but so have Government forces such as Assad’s regime.


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]