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Explosive Violence in January

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records incidents of explosive violence as they occur around the world. Since 1 October 2010 AOAV has used English-language media sources to capture information on attacks, including on the number of casualties and the weapon type used.

This month there were more than 3,000 casualties of explosive violence (people killed and injured). More than 1,000 of those were in Iraq.

Explosive Violence, January 2014 1


AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor

Methodology: Information is gathered from English-language news sources on incidents of explosive violence with at least one reported casualty. AOAV uses an RSS reader to scan Google news for key terms which relate to explosive weapon use. Information is extracted on: the date, time, and location of the incident; the number and status of people killed and injured; the weapon type; the reported user and target; the detonation method and whether displacement or damage to the location was reported. AOAV does not attempt to comprehensively capture all incidents of explosive violence around the world, instead this data in intended to serve as a useful indicator of the scale and pattern of harm. Direct casualties are just one aspect of the impact of explosive weapons in populated areas. Damage to civilian infrastructure, psychological and socio-economic impacts on individuals and communities, and the danger of UXO are seldom reported in news sources.

For the latest analysis and research of developments in explosive violence go to:

Manufactured Explosive Weapons

IEDs and Suicide Bombings


[1] Actors are defined as civilians if they are not identifiable in reports either as armed actors or security personnel.

[2] The number of casualties from explosive violence in Syria is significantly under-reported, owing to the nature of news-source reporting from the conflict. Very few incidents in Syria were reported with injuries (only 19% as opposed to 83% in Iraq). Both Iraq and Syria had a very similar number of civilian fatalities reported in January.

[3] Incidents are designated as occurring in populated areas if: a) It is stated in the source (e.g. a busy street, a crowded market etc); b) If an incident occurs in or near a pre-defined location which is likely to contain concentrations of civilians: Commercial premises, Entertainment venues, Hospitals, Hotels, Encampments (IDPs, Refugees, Nomads) , Markets, Places of worship, Police stations, Public gatherings, Public buildings, Public transport, Schools, Town centres, Urban residential neighbourhoods, Villages/ compounds. Other locations recorded include: Agricultural area, Armed Base, Road, and Transport-related infrastructure. Incidents which occurred in these locations are recorded as ‘Populated area’ if details of the media report state that they were located in or next to any of the locations classified as likely to be populated. If there is insufficient or unclear information, then it is recorded as ‘Unclear’, and combined with the ‘Not reported as populated area’ category for analysis.

[4] AOAV recorded 680 civilian casualties from explosive violence in Iraq in January 2013.