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Explosive Violence Monitor: 2012

Over the past two years, Action on Armed Violence has monitored worldwide incidents and impacts of explosive violence. Our findings paint a grim picture of a world where civilians are increasingly the victims when explosive weapons are used.

 A world where the number of civilians reported killed or wounded by explosive weapons such as tank shells, mortars, car bombs, landmines, and grenades was 26% higher in 2012 than it was in 2011. A world where ‘collateral damage’ is an ugly word, hiding an ugly truth. 

The full report is available for download here:  Explosive Violence Monitor 2012

Key findings

  • There was a 26% rise in the number of civilian casualties from explosive weapons in 2012, compared to 2011. 
  • 34,758 people were killed and injured by explosive weapons in 2,742 incidents in 2012 compared to 30,127 people killed or injured in 2,522 incidents in 2011. 
  • 78% (27,025) of those affected were civilians, up from 71% (21,499) in 2011. When explosive  weapons were used in populated areas 91% of casualties were reported to be civilians. In other areas this figure was 32% – a marked decrease.
  • In incidents where the age of casualties was reported, children accounted for 15% of all worldwide civilian casualties. 
  • Syria was the worst affected country in the world in 2012 for explosive violence. 
  • Syria had 23% more casualties from explosive weapons than Iraq, the second most affected country in the world.
  • Nine out of every 10 of the explosive violence victims in Syria were civilians. 
  • There were reports of explosive violence victims in 58 separate countries and territories in 2012. 
  • Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria were the top five most affected countries from explosive violence. 
  • 80% of all recorded civilian  casualties were in these  countries.

For more information on this report, please contact Iain Overton, AOAV’s Executive Director on +44 (0) 7984 645 145 or at