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Explosive Violence Monitor: 2017

This 2017 report presents the findings of the seventh 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 2017, AOAV recorded 42,972 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons globally. As has been seen every year for the past seven years, civilians continued to bear the burden of this violence. Of those harmed in 2017, 74% were reported to be civilians.

The full report is available for download here:  Explosive Violence Monitor 2017.

Key findings

  • AOAV recorded 42,972 deaths and injuries by explosive weapons in 3,825 incidents in 2017. Of these, 31,904 were civilians – 74%. 
  • In total, 24,848 people were killed (of which 16,289 were civilians), and 18,124 were injured (of which 15,615 were civilians) by explosive weapons globally. This means two-thirds of all people killed and 86% of all people injured were civilians. 
  • When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 92% of those killed and injured were civilians. This compares to 20% in other areas. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries in populated areas, represented 93% of all reported civilian deaths and injuries. 
  • AOAV recorded the highest number of civilian deaths seen across the seven years – a 38% increase compared to the previous year, and a 165% increase compared to 2011. Whilst in previous years this rise would also be accompanied by a rise in injuries, this has not been the case in 2017 or the previous year – likely reflecting the nature of reporting in high casualty conflicts, where injuries often fail to make the headlines. 
  • This might explain why total civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence saw a decrease of 1% in 2017 from 2016. This is the second year since AOAV began the monitor in which recorded civilian casualties of explosive violence have decreased – albeit slight. 
  • There was a continued increase in the number of civilians recorded killed or injured by air-launched attacks, reaching 14,342 in 2017. This was 44% more than recorded in 2016.  For the first year, incidents caused by air-launched weaponry killed and injured more civilians than any other weapon type. Air-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 45% of all civilian deaths and injuries. 
  • Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen saw the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries in 2017. 
  • Numbers of reported deaths and injuries in Syria continued to rise. More than 15,000 deaths and injuries were recorded by AOAV from explosive violence alone in Syria in 2017. 
  • Some of the most impacted countries saw a significant rise in civilian deaths and injuries as a result of explosive weapons compared to the year before: Pakistan (51%); Somalia (92%); Egypt (305%). 
  • Six countries and territories saw over 1,000 civilian deaths and injuries in 2017. 
  • Incidents were recorded in 59 countries and territories around the world.

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