Explosive Violence Monthly Reports

Explosive violence in September 2020

In September 2020, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 1,338 deaths and injuries from 213 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 50% (675) of the deaths and injuries recorded.

When explosive violence was used in populated areas, 88% of all casualties were civilians, compared to 12% in other areas.

Improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 59% of civilian casualties in September 2020, while manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 41%. Of the main launch method types, ground-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 30% of civilian casualties, airstrikes for 7%, and IEDs for 59%. The remaining 4% of civilian casualties were caused by landmines, naval-launched weapons or weapons with an unclear launch method.

At least one death or injury from explosive violence was recorded in 18 countries and territories last month. The five worst impacted countries were Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Cameroon in terms of civilian casualties.

Afghanistan was the country worst impacted by explosive weapons in September with 225 civilian casualties recorded from explosive violence. Civilian casualties have continued to decrease in Afghanistan from explosive weapons. Two-thirds of civilian casualties from explosive weapons last month were caused by IEDs.

In Syria, AOAV recorded 132 civilian casualties, of which 106 were caused by IEDs. Most of these IED incidents were recorded in Aleppo or Hasakah governorates.

In Yemen, 39 of the 57 casualties were caused by ground-launched explosive weapons, particularly by Houthi rebels. Saudi-led coalition airstrikes were also responsible for 14 civilian casualties in this period.

While in both Somalia and Cameroon, most civilian casualties were caused by IEDs. In Somalia, Al Shabaab continue to carry out attacks in civilian areas. Whilst in Cameroon, Boko Haram carry out sporadic violence.

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.