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Explosive Violence Monitor: 2018

This 2018 report presents the findings of the eighth 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 2018, AOAV recorded 32,110 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons globally. As seen every year for the past eight years, civilians continued to bear the burden of this violence. Of those harmed in 2018, 70% were reported to be civilians. 


The full report is available for download here:  Explosive Violence Monitor 2018

Key findings

  •  When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 90% of those killed and injured were civilians. This compares to 20% in other areas. 
  • In total, 20,384 civilians were killed and injured in populated areas.
  • AOAV recorded 32,110 deaths and injuries by explosive weapons in 3,461 incidents in 2018. Of these, 22,342 were civilians – 70%. 
  • In total, 16,535 people were killed (of which 9,621 were civilians), and 15,575 were injured (of which 12,721 were civilians) by explosive weapons globally. This means 58% of all people
  • killed and 82% of all people injured by explosive violence were civilians. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries in populated areas represented 91% of all reported civilian deaths and injuries. 
  • Globally, state use of explosive violence caused 15,654 deaths and injuries in 2018. Of these 64%, 10,040, were civilians. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries from state use of explosive weapons (10,040) were almost as high as those from non-state use of explosive weapons (10,716). 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence saw a decrease of 30% last year, compared to the year before. This means that this is the second consecutive year in which AOAV has recorded a drop in civilian casualties. 
  • Incidents caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) killed and injured more civilians than any other weapon type. IEDs were responsible for at least 42% of all civilian casualties from explosive violence in 2018. Air-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 32% of all civilian deaths and injuries. Ground-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 15%. The remaining 11% were caused by incidents using multiples types of explosive weapons (9%), mines (1%), naval-launched explosives (<1%) and those recorded with an unclear launch method (<1%). 
  • Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, and Pakistan saw the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries in 2018 with 9,587, 4,260, 1,807, 1,508, and 1,215 civilian casualties respectively. 
  • Despite a fall in reported deaths and injuries, Syria saw more than 12,000 deaths and injuries recorded by AOAV from explosive violence alone in 2018 – 80% were civilians. 
  • 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: Afghanistan, Yemen, India and Libya. 
  • Seven countries and territories saw over 500 civilian deaths and injuries in 2018. 
  • Incidents were recorded in 64 countries and territories  around the world; five more locations than in 2017.


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