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An Anatomy of a Grenade Attack: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

16.1.1 – Number of direct civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapons, disaggregated by gender and age
Case Study

Nine people were killed and at least 69 injured in the Machakos attack. According to AOAV’s interviews with Kenyan Red Cross representatives, most of the injured were men and there were approximately 10 female casualties. An eyewitness said that one child was reported as being indirectly injured from the chaos which followed the blast. The majority of the injured were described by AOAV’s interviewees as “middle aged”. 


According to AOAV EVM data, between 2011-2020, 1,029 civilians were killed and 7,922 injured by grenades. These figures include at least 413 women and 546children.

Pakistan has experienced the most attacks (384) in the last decade, accounting for 1,997 civilian casualties, 22% of global civilian casualties from grenades. Grenade attacks occasionally result in double and even triple figure civilian casualties. For example, an attack in 2018 on a political rally in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia killed two people and injured 156 others. Over the past decade, AOAV recorded 275 incidents of grenade use which resulted in 10 or more civilian casualties (15% of total recorded incidents). 

Figure 14: Gender and age breakdown of grenade attacks (2011-2020). Source: AOAV’s EVM. 

16.2.1 – Number of indirect civilian deaths and injuries from explosive weapons, disaggregated by gender and age 
Case Study

UNIDIR defines this indicator as those killed or injured ‘from a loss of access to essential goods and services as a consequence of explosive weapons use’. Attributing indirect deaths and injuries to a single occurrence of explosive violence is inherently difficult. The grenade attack at Machakos did result in overcrowding at Nairobi’s hospitals, but it is almost impossible to discern this many years after the event whether these delays resulted in any indirect deaths.  

Figure 15: Size and shape of grenade fragment drawn by one of the victims of the attack interviewed by AOAV. Source: Verity Hubbard 2021. 

Although examples exist of grenades damaging hospitals, there is scarce evidence to concretely attribute indirect death or injury to this weapon type.

Report continues:

Chapter 4: SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities
Chapter 5: SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being
Chapter 6: SDG 4 – Quality Education
Chapter 7: Other Considerations
Conclusion and Recommendations