Explosive Violence Incidents Globally

explosive burning carsAction on Armed Violence (AOAV) has released a comprehensive eight-year overview of global explosive violence. The report consists of data collected from 2011 to 2018, including numbers of both armed and civilian casualties, location of explosions, as well as the strike methods.

According to the report, the overall number of casualties from explosive weapons over the last eight years is 309,044. In 2018 there were 32,110 deaths and injuries with civilians representing a large proportion (70%) of all harmed. Similarly to all previous years, civilians remained the most affected group, in particular, within populated areas. The rise of civilian casualties was particularly significant from 2011 to 2015, whereas 2016 saw a slight decrease in civilian harm.

While the report lists 119 countries or territories impacted by explosive violence, AOAV identifies Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq as the top hot spots. Additionally, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remain the most harmful method of delivery affecting over half (53%) of all civilian casualties. Similarly, airstrikes became more prevalent in the recent years, particularly in Syria, Iraq, Gaza and Yemen. These strikes are responsible for “thousands of civilian casualties,” that are well beyond the scope of this report. Similarly, suicide attacks have consistently shown some of the highest levels of casualties per incident. Finally, the use of ground-launched weapons continues to affect lives, with civilians bearing the highest impact.

Significantly, AOAV along with the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW) advocate against the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas, which is the key step towards reducing explosives-related civilian deaths and injuries across the world.

The HSDL offers many additional resources related to Domestic TerrorismGlobal Terrorism, and Suicide Bombers. Please note: some of these resources require a HSDL login.

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