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Explosive Violence in November 2016

Last month, November 2016, AOAV recorded 3,380 deaths and injuries from explosive violence globally. Civilians accounted for 83% of the casualties. When examining instances where explosive violence was used in populated areas in November, civilians accounted for 97% of the deaths and injuries caused.

Whilst the civilian deaths and injuries recorded this month remained just slightly higher than the monthly average for this year, the total was lower than average. There was a notable decrease in deaths and injuries caused by explosive violence compared to the previous few months.

This was also reflected in the amount of deaths and injuries recorded from Syria. It is likely that a reporting fatigue reduced the number of injuries recorded in November – with levels of deaths largely similar to previous months, whilst the levels of injuries saw a marked decrease.

Syria probably experienced similar levels of explosive violence last month to previous months but many injuries were not detailed in the reports – 21 incidents in Syria in November reported deaths from explosive violence but failed to provide a number for the amount of civilians injured.

Much of this decrease for November as a whole also stems from a reduction in armed actor deaths and injuries.

The top five most impacted countries this month were: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen.

This means that despite a reduction in the recorded deaths and injuries from explosive violence in November, Syria remained the country suffering the most civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence across the globe. Syria has retained this position for the last eight months.

Yemen saw a substantial decrease in deaths and injuries from explosive violence, whilst Iraq saw levels similar to October, and Afghanistan and Pakistan saw deaths and injuries from such violence double in November in comparison to the levels seen in October.

In Afghanistan, most civilian casualties were caused by suicide bombers from ISIS and Taliban groups, such as the attack on the crowded Shia mosque in Kabul. Though the US airstrike in Kunduz also caused a high level of civilian casualties.

Though most incidents in Pakistan were perpetrated by India, it was another ISIS attack targeting a gathering of worshippers that saw the most deaths and injuries, when a suicide bomber targeted a shrine in Balochistan.

Compared to November 2015, the levels recorded in November 2016 are higher, particularly civilians deaths and injuries. The same month in 2015 saw 1,867 civilian deaths and injuries. So 2016 saw 50% more with 2,805 civilian deaths and injuries.

If you are interested in explosive violence patterns and trends, you may wish to read Patterns of Harm: Five years of explosive violence, 2011-2015.

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