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At least 30 killed in Burkina Faso air raid targeting armed groups, 01 Aug. 

On 03 Aug, the Burkinabe army acknowledged that civilians were killed on 01 Aug, in air strikes targeting armed groups in the country’s eastern region. While the official statement didn’t disclose the number of victims, locals told AFP reported that up to 30 civilians were killed.

The air strikes were targeting an armed base between Kompienga and Pognoa villages, near the Togo border. Civilians were gathered nearby for the inauguration of a mill when the strikes took place. 

The Burkinabe army has opened an investigation into the civilian deaths, and offered its “sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” assuring them of its “commitment to collaborate fully with the competent services and the population to shed light on this unfortunate incident”.

Since 2010, when AOAV began recording incidents of explosive weapon use around the world, AOAV has recorded 12,633 incidents of state-perpetrated explosive weapon use, resulting in 153,712 casualties of which 64% (97,707) have been civilians. 

In that time, air-launched weapons used by state actors have caused 66% (64, 705) of recorded civilian casualties of state-perpetrated explosive weapon use.  When states have used air-launched weapons, 57% of recorded casualties have been civilians. 

Since 2010, the most active state perpetrators of air-launched explosive weapon use, in terms of civilian casualties, have reportedly been Syria (22%, 14,345 civilian casualties of air-launched weapons), Saudi-led coalitions (15%, 9,913), Russia (9%, 5,574), and US-led coalitions  (8%, 5,329). 

AOAV’s casualty figures represent the lowest of estimations in terms of the number of people killed and injured by explosive weapon use. In an effort to quantify the explicit harm caused by specific explosive weapons, AOAV solely records incident-specific casualty figures, as reported in English-language media.

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 effects where there is likely to be a high concentration of civilians.