In December 2020, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 1,086 deaths and injuries from 167 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 58% (633) of the deaths and injuries recorded.
When explosive violence was used in populated areas, 83% of all casualties were civilians, compared to 13% in other areas.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) accounted for 59% of civilian casualties in December, with manufactured weapons accounting for 41%.
Of the main launch methods, IEDs were responsible for 59% of civilian casualties, ground-launched explosives were responsible for 37%, landmines for 1%, and airstrikes for 3%.
At least one death or injury from explosive violence was recorded in 17 countries and territories in December. The five worst impacted countries in regard to civilian casualties were Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, Syria and Somalia.
Afghanistan was the country worst impacted by explosive weapons last month, with 272 civilian casualties attributed to explosive violence. Of these civilian casualties, 242 (89%) were caused by IEDs; 19 civlians casualties were caused by ground-launched explosive weapons and 11 by airstrikes.
The worst impacted region was Kabul, where 40% of all civilian casualties occurred.
AOAV recorded 160 civilian casualties in Yemen, the second most affected county in November. All casualties recorded in Yemen from explosive violence were caused by ground-launched weapons. In one attack, on December 12th 2020, shelling on the airport in Aden saw over 130 killed and injured.
In Pakistan, 65 civilian casualties were recorded, including 21 from ground-launched explosives, 43 from IEDs and one from a landmine. Balochistan and Punjab were the regions which saw the most civilian casualties, with 22 and 33 respectively.
December saw the incidence of explosive violence and casualties decrease in Syria, with 144 casualties recorded, of which 49 were civilians, from 43 incidents. 11 civilian casualties were caused by ground-launched attacks, 32 by IEDs and 6 from landmines.
In Somalia, three IED incidents left 34 civilian casualties in December. Two of the incidents were roadside bombs and one was a suicide attack. 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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