Manufactured explosive weaponsImprovised Explosive Devices

Explosive violence in July 2015

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.

In July 2015, AOAV recorded 4,990 casualties of explosive violence worldwide, 76% of whom were civilians (3,786 deaths and injuries). July was the worst month so far in 2015 for civilian casualties.

Yemen was the most-affected country, and the country has been pitched into a severe humanitarian emergency as aid workers struggle to escape the wide-area impact of explosive weapons. This month’s top story focuses again on the impact of suicide bombers around the world.

AOAV has focused in-depth on the devastating toll from suicide attacks, finding a 45% increase in civilian casualties so far in 2015 from the same period in 2014. Read more at 2015: An epidemic of suicide bombings

Download the report – Explosive Violence: July 2015

July 2015

Top Story: An epidemic of suicide bombings

In June, AOAV highlighted the growing risk to civilians worldwide from suicide bombings. July saw a further startling increase in this form of explosive violence, with 1,169 civilian casualties from 36 such attacks globally. This means that almost a third (31%) of all civilian casualties of explosive violence in July 2015 were killed or injured by a suicide bomber.

The worst-hit countries in July were Iraq (390 civilian casualties) and Nigeria (288). On 17 July, a suicide bomber drove a truck filled with more than three tonnes of explosives into a busy market in the Diyala province of Iraq. The attack killed 120 people and injured another 140, destroying fifty buildings. July has been the worst month of 2015 for suicide bombings, and has contributed to a staggering 45% increase in civilian casualties so far this year from suicide bombs, compared to the previous year.

To read an in-depth analysis of the spread of suicide bombs in 2015 read: An epidemic of suicide bombings

Aid In Danger: Humanitarian buildings hit in Yemen

By Insecurity Insight:

On 1 July, two offices of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) were damaged by mortar fire and airstrikes in the villages of Haradh and Basateen, both in Yemen’s Aden Governorate.3 While no-one was killed or injured in the incident, this was the latest in a series of attacks in Yemen in which humanitarian offices have been damaged by explosive weapons.

Each month since the conflict erupted in March 2015, humanitarians and their life-saving infrastructure have been directly caught up in the widespread use of explosive weapons in populated areas in Yemen.

On 28 June, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) offices were severely damaged by airstrikes in the city of Aden. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attack as deplorable, and called for a full investigation by the Saudi-led coalition.4 On 21 May at least five refugees were killed when shelling hit an international humanitarian aid office near Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia.5 A month earlier, on 20 April, the offices of International Medical Corps (IMC) and an Oxfam warehouse were damaged in another set of air strikes.6

These incidents highlight the due diligence concerns that humanitarian agencies face over how to protect their staff and assets when warring parties cannot guarantee their safety because of the wide-area effects of the explosive weapons in use.  Although 80% of Yemen’s population is in need of support, agencies say that only a fraction of the country’s 21 million-plus people in need can currently receive aid.7


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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)  Refers to areas likely to contain concentrations of civilians. To see AOAV’s recording guidelines see

[3]  International Organization for Migration, “Yemen: Airstrikes, Mortars Damage IOM Premises in Haradh and Basateen,” 3 July 2015,;  Lisa Schlein, “Conflict in Yemen Blocks Humanitarian Aid,” Voice of America, 03 July 2015,

[4]  “Yemen: Ban deplores attack on UN compound in Gulf country, calls for full investigation”, UN News Centre, 29 June 2015,

[5]  Mohammed Ghobari and Sami Aboudi, “Saudi shells hit Yemen aid office, killing five refugees-local official,” Reuters, 21 May 2015,

[6]  “Aid agency Oxfam condemns Saudi air strike in Yemen,” Reuters, 20 April 2015,

[7]  UNOCHA, “Yemen: Humanitarian Emergency Situation Report No. 16, (20 July 2015),”