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Explosive Violence Monitor: 2019

In this report, Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) presents the 2019 findings from the Explosive Violence Monitoring Project (EVMP) – the ninth consecutive year of the monitor. The EVMP tracks the impact of explosive weapon use worldwide as reported in English-language media. In 2019, AOAV recorded 29,485 deaths and injuries as a result of the use of explosive weapons. 

As with every year for the past nine years, civilians continued to bear the burden of this violence. Of those harmed in 2019, two-thirds (66%) were civilians.

The full report is available for download here:  Explosive Violence Monitor 2019

Key findings

  • When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 90% of those killed and injured were  civilians. This compares to 16% in other areas. 
  • In total, 17,910 civilians were killed and injured in populated areas.
  • AOAV recorded 29,485 deaths and injuries by explosive weapons in 3,816 casualty-causing incidents in 2019. Of these, 19,401 were civilians – 66%. 
  • In total, 13,169 people were killed (of which 6,476 were civilians) and 16,316 were injured (of which 12,925 were civilians) by explosive weapons globally. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries in populated areas represented 92% of all reported civilian deaths and injuries. 
  • Civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence saw a decrease of 13% in 2019, compared to 2018. This is the third consecutive year in which AOAV has recorded a drop in civilian casualties from explosive violence globally. 
  • Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for at least 9,811 civilian casualties (52%). 
  • Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) accounted for at least 9,089 civilian casualties (48%). 
  • A further 501 civilian casualties were caused by incidents using multiple types of launch methods. 
  • IEDs were responsible for at least 47% of all civilian casualties from explosive violence in 2019. Air-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 28% of all civilian deaths and injuries. Ground-launched explosive weapons were responsible for 20%. The remaining 4% were caused by incidents using multiples types of explosive weapons (3%), mines (1%), naval- launched explosives (<1%) and those recorded with an unclear launch method (<1%). 
  • Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya saw the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries in 2019 with 7,256, 4,630, 1,345, 950 and 906 civilian casualties respectively. 
  • Despite a fall in reported deaths and injuries, Syria saw more than 8,774 deaths and injuries recorded by AOAV from explosive violence alone in 2019 – 83% were civilians. 
  • Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Sri Lanka saw a significant rise in civilian deaths and injuries as a result of explosive weapons compared to the year before.
  • Eight countries and territories saw over 500 civilian deaths and injuries in 2019. 
  • Casualty-causing incidents of explosive violence were recorded in 60 countries and territories around the world; four less locations than in 2018.


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.