In August 2020, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 1,364 deaths and injuries from 214 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 63% (858) of the deaths and injuries recorded.
When explosive violence was used in populated areas, 85% of all casualties were civilians, compared to 20% in other areas.
Improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 55% of civilian casualties in August 2020, while manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 45%. Of the main launch method types, ground-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 28% of civilian casualties, airstrikes for 10%, and IEDs for 55%. The remaining 7% of civilian casualties were caused by landmines.
At least one death or injury from explosive violence was recorded in 19 countries and territories last month. The five worst impacted countries were Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia and Philippines in terms of civilian casualties.
Afghanistan was the country worst impacted by explosive weapons in August with 353 civilian casualties recorded from explosive violence. This accounts for 41% of worldwide civilian casualties reported in the last month. Of these casualties, 70% were caused by IEDs. This was a decrease from July, when 425 civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan.
Syria, the second most impacted region, also saw a decrease in civilian casualties in August. AOAV reports that the region experienced 118 civilian casualties compared to the 297 recorded in July. 40% of civilian casualties in Syria in August were caused by landmines.
In Pakistan, AOAV recorded 123 casualties, of which 112 were civilians. 78 of these casualties were the result of ground-launched weapons.
In Somalia and the Philippines, civilian casualties in the month of August were predominantly caused by IEDs. In Somalia, 75 of the 81 recorded civilian casualties were caused by IEDs, and in the Philippines, all reported 54 civilian casualties were caused by IEDs.
AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. All actors should stop using explosive weapons with wide-area affects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.
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