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Explosive violence in February 2017

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records incidents of explosive violence as they occur around the world. February 2017, saw at least 2,941 casualties of explosive violence (people killed and injured). Civilians made up 70% of all the people who were recorded killed or injured around the world by explosive weapons in February.

The five most impacted countries/territories in February were: Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

January marked the first month since March 2016 that Syria dropped from the position of the country worst impacted by explosive violence, according to civilian deaths and injuries. However, February saw Syria return to this position. In February, AOAV recorded 954 deaths and injuries in Syria caused by such weaponry, of which 653 (68%) were civilians. This number is largely similar to the levels recorded in first few months of last year, despite the average number of 1,109 civilian deaths and injuries recorded per month in 2016 in Syria.

Iraq dropped to third place in February with 505 civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence. Whilst Iraq was recorded as the worst impacted in January, the levels of violence have remained largely consistent since September 2016.

Pakistan saw a significant increase in civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence in February. This is due to a highly lethal suicide attack which saw the death and injury of over 400 civilians. The bomber targeted a Sufi shrine in Sindh province.

Similarly, just one IED attack, a suicide car bomb in Mogadishu, caused 88% of the civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence seen in Somalia in February 2017.

93% of the civilian deaths and injuries caused by explosive weapons occurred in populated areas in February. AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should refrain from using such weapons where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.


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