LONDON - When explosive weapons were used in populated areas last year, over nine in ten casualties were civilians.

Since 2011, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has been recording the global impact of explosive violence as reported in English language media.

In 2018, AOAV recorded 32,110 deaths and injuries from the use of explosive weapons around the world. As with previous years, civilians bore the burden of this explosive violence. Of those harmed, 70% were reported to be civilians – 22,342.

Of the civilian casualties, 91% (20,384) were recorded in populated areas.

When explosive weapons are used in populated areas the casualties will be overwhelmingly civilian. In 2018, AOAV found that 90% of those reported harmed by explosive weapons in populated areas were civilians.

While civilian casualties decreased globally, some countries saw concerning increases in harm, particularly Afghanistan and Yemen.

State use of explosive weapons accounted for almost as many civilian casualties as non-state actors.

Nevertheless, it was improvised explosive devices that caused the most civilian casualties, responsible for 42% of civilian deaths and injuries.

The full report is available for download here: Explosive violence monitor 2018.


Some of the key findings of the report are:

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 90% of those killed and injured were civilians. This compares to 20% in other areas.
In total, 20,384 civilians were killed and injured in populated areas.
AOAV recorded 32,110 deaths and injuries by explosive weapons in 3,461 incidents in 2018. Of these, 22,342 were civilians – 70%.
Civilian deaths and injuries from state use of explosive weapons (10,040) were almost as high as those from non-state use of explosive weapons (10,716).
Civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence saw a decrease of 30% last year, compared to the year before. This means that this is the second consecutive year in which AOAV has recorded a drop in civilian casualties.
Incidents caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) killed and injured more civilians than any other weapon type. IEDs were responsible for at least 42% of all civilian casualties from explosive violence in 2018. Air-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 32% of all civilian deaths and injuries. Ground-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 15%.
Incidents were recorded in 64 countries and territories around the world; five more locations than in 2017.

For the full report visit: