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Explosive Violence Monitor: 2015

Explosive Violence in 2015 presents the findings of the fifth consecutive year of Action on Armed Violence’s (AOAV) Explosive Violence Monitoring Project (EVMP). The EVMP tracks the impact of explosive weapon use worldwide as reported in the English-language media. 

In 2015, AOAV recorded 43,786 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons around the world. And civilians continue to bear the burden of explosive violence. Of those harmed, 33,307 – over three-quarters – were reported to be civilians.

The full report is available for download here:  Explosive Violence Monitor 2015

Key findings

  • AOAV recorded 43,786 deaths and injuries by explosive weapons in 2,170 incidents in 2015. Of these, 33,307 were civilians – 76%. 
  • When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 92% of those killed and injured were civilians. This compares to 31% in other areas. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries in populated areas, represented 89% of all reported civilian deaths and injuries. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries rose by 2% in 2015 from 2014. This is the fourth consecutive year in which recorded civilian casualties of explosive violence have increased. In 2011, 21,499 civilians were killed or injured. 
  • There was a sharp rise in the number of civilians recorded  killed or injured by suicide attacks, reaching 9,205. This was 67% more than recorded in 2014 – in spite of similar incident numbers (253 in 2015, 248 in 2014). 
  • For the fourth year in a row, 2015 saw a rise in the number of civilian casualties from explosive violence around the world. Last year 33,307 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons – up 2% from 2014 and 54% more than when AOAV’s monitor began in 2011.
  • Incidents caused by air-launched weaponry killed and injured a reported 9,200 civilians worldwide, accounting for 28% of all civilian deaths and injuries. This represents a rise of 57% in civilian deaths and injuries from 2014 – in spite of a 32% drop in numbers of incidents recorded (501 in 2015, 735 in 2014). 
  • Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Nigeria and Afghanistan saw the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries in 2015. 
  • Numbers of reported deaths and injuries in Syria continued to rise. More than 10,000 deaths and injuries were recorded by AOAV in Syria in 2015. 
  • A number of countries saw a significant rise in civilian deaths  and injuries as a result of explosive weapons compared to the year before: Turkey (7682%), Yemen (1204%), Egypt (142%), Libya (85%), Syria (39%) and Nigeria (22%). 
  • Six countries and territories had over 1,000 civilian deaths and injuries in 2015. 
  • Incidents were recorded in 64 countries and territories around the world – five more countries than in 2014. 
  • Despite this increase in deaths and injuries, there was a 20% decrease in the number of recorded explosive weapon incidents compared to 2014. This means there was a higher average lethality than previous years – a reflection of the increasing use of explosive weapons deliberately targeting populated areas. In 2014, AOAV had recorded 41,847 deaths and injuries from 2,702 incidents.

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