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Explosive Violence Monthly Reports

Explosive Violence in April 2022

In April 2022, Action on Armed Violence recorded 2, 143 deaths and injuries from 237 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 80% (1, 722) of the deaths and injuries recorded.

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 97% (1, 629) of the casualties were civilians, compared to 20% (93) in other areas.

Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 66% (1, 144) of civilian casualties, while improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 33% (560) of these civilian casualties in April 2022. Of the main launch method types of manufactured explosive weapons, ground-launched explosive weapons for 60% (1, 034) of civilian casualties, air-launched weapons were responsible for 5% (96) of civilian casualties, and landmines were responsible for >1% (14) of civilian casualties.

At least one death or injury from the use of explosive weapons was recorded in 21 countries and territories in April 2022. The five most affected countries and territories in terms of civilian casualties from the use of explosive weapons were Ukraine, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Syria, and Burkina Faso.

UKRAINE

In April 2022, AOAV recorded 107 incidents of explosive weapon use in Ukraine, which resulted in 973 civilian casualties of whom 270 were killed and 703 injured. There were at least 24 children and nine women among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 90% of the total 1,076 casualties, as there were also 103 recorded armed-actor casualties, 100 of whom were killed and 3 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 98% (958), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 46% (444) of recorded civilian casualties occurred in locations in which the detonation of an explosive weapon affects multiple types of spaces within an urban environment, 26% (251) in urban residential areas, 14% (132) in transport-related infrastructure, 11% (107) in villages, 2% (17) in humanitarian infrastructure, >1% (3) in hospitals, >1% (2) on roads, >1% (2) in commercial premises, and >1% (2) in agricultural lands. The remaining 1% (13) of civilian casualties occurred in other or unknown locations. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Ukraine were Kharkiv (336 civilian casualties), Donetsk (255), Mykolaiv (195), Luhansk (49), Kyiv (31), Odessa (24), Vinnytsia (23), Lviv (18), Zaporizhzhia (15), Dnipropetrovsk (10), Poltava (10), and Kherson (7). 

The vast majority of civilian casualties, 99% (968), were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons, specifically Russian armed forces. Groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the cases of >1% (5) civilian casualties.

The use of ground-launched explosive weapons was the cause of 96% (931) of civilian casualties, specifically shelling (654), rockets (150), missiles (102), artillery shells (19), and combined explosive weapons (6). Airstrikes were the cause of 2% (15) of civilian casualties. Landmines were the cause of >1% (6). 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Ukraine in April saw a decrease from March, in which 116 incidents were recorded and 1, 292 civilian casualties (844 killed and 448 injured). In February 2022, there were 36 reported incidents of explosive violence in Ukraine, which caused 157 civilian casualties (73 killed and 84 injured). 

AFGHANISTAN

In April 2022, AOAV recorded 15 incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan, which resulted in 511 civilian casualties of whom 186 were killed and 325 injured. There were at least two children among the civilian casualties, and one woman. Civilians accounted for 98% of the total 519 casualties, as there were also eight recorded armed-actor casualties, three of whom were killed and five injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 99% (508), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 58% (296) of recorded civilian casualties occurred in places of worship, 14% (69) in villages, 5% (30) in entertainment venues, 6% (29) in markets, 5% (25) in urban residential areas, 5% (23) in schools, 4% (22) on roads, 2% (10) in locations in which the detonation of an explosive weapon affects multiple types of spaces within an urban environment, and >1% (4) on public transport. The remaining 0.7% (3) of civilian casualties occurred in other or unknown locations. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan were Kabul (209 civilian casualties), Kunduz (98), Balkh (92), Khost (63), Herat (40), Kunar (6), and Badakhshan (3).

The vast majority of civilian casualties, 85% (436), were caused by non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons. ISIS were the reported perpetrator in the case of 52% (265) of civilian casualties. Unknown non-state forces were the reported perpetrator in the case of 33% (171) of civilian casualties. Pakistan state forces were responsible for 14% (69) of civilian casualties. Groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the cases of >1% (6) civilian casualties.

The use of IEDs was the cause of 80% (407) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific IEDs (394), car bombs (10), and roadside bombs (3). Airstrikes were the cause of 14% (69) of civilian casualties. Ground-launched weapons were the cause of 7% (35) of civilian casualties, specifically grenades. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan in April saw a sharp rise from March, in which three incidents were recorded and 29 civilian casualties (nine killed and 20 injured). In February 2022, there was one reported incident of explosive violence in Afghanistan, which caused 15 civilian casualties. One person was killed and 14 injured when a bomb detonated in a Qala-i-Naw mosque.  

NIGERIA

In April 2022, AOAV recorded six incidents of explosive weapon use in Nigeria, which resulted in 59 civilian casualties of whom 17 were killed and 42 injured. There were at least six children among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 95% of the total 62 casualties, as there were also 3 recorded armed-actor casualties, all of whom were killed. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 71% (42), occurred in populated areas, specifically in entertainment venues. 19% (11) of civilian casualties occurred in agricultural areas, and 10% (6) occurred in other or unknown locations.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Nigeria were Taraba (34 civilian casualties), Borno (11), Yobe (8), and Niger (6). The three armed-actor casualties took place in Katsina. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 58% (34), were caused by non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons, specifically ISIS. Nigerian state forces were responsible for 10% (6) of civilian casualties, specifically the six children. Groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the case of 32% (19) of civilian casualties.

The use of non-specific IEDs was the cause of 90% (53) of civilian casualties. Artillery shells were the cause of 10% (6) of civilian casualties, and 100% of the casualties that were reported as children. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Nigeria in April saw a rise from March, in which four incidents were recorded and two civilian casualties (both injured). In February 2022, there were seven reported incidents of explosive violence in Nigeria, which caused 14 civilian casualties. Five people were killed and nine were injured. 

SYRIA

In April 2022, AOAV recorded 38 incidents of explosive weapon use in Syria, which resulted in 39 civilian casualties of whom 11 were killed and 28 injured. There were at least five children and six women among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 33% of the total 119 casualties, as there were also 80 recorded armed-actor casualties, 34 of whom were killed and 46 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 74% (29), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 46% (18) of recorded civilian casualties occurred in villages, 15% (6) in entertainment venues, 8% (3) in urban residential areas, 5% (2) in locations in which the detonation of an explosive weapon affects multiple types of spaces within an urban environment, and 3% (1) on a road. The remaining 23% (9) of civilian casualties occurred in other or unknown locations. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Syria were Aleppo (20 civilian casualties), Hasakah (7), Deir Ezzor (5), Idlib (4), Raqqa (2), and Damascus (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 38% (15), were caused by groups of unknown status and name. State actors caused 36% (14) of civilian casualties, while non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons caused 26% (10) of civilian casualties. ISIS were the reported perpetrator in the case of 13% (5) of civilian casualties. Unknown non-state forces were the reported perpetrator in the case of 13% (5) of civilian casualties. Turkish state forces were the reported perpetrator in the case of 26% (10) of civilian casualties. Syrian state forces were the reported perpetrator in the case of 10% (4) of civilian casualties. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 67% (26), were caused by the use of shelling and artillery shells. Non-specific IEDs were the cause of 23% (9) of civilian casualties, air-dropped bombs of 8% (3) of civilian casualties, and landmines of 3% (1) of civilian casualties. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Syria in April saw a rise from March, in which 25 incidents were recorded and 35 civilian casualties (11 killed and 24 injured). In February 2022, there were 54 reported incidents of explosive violence in Syria, which caused 133 civilian casualties (45 killed and 88 injured). 

Sources: SOHR I, Kurdistan24, SOHR II, SOHR III, SouthFront, SOHR IV, SOHR V, SOHR VI, ANHA, Airwars I, Airwars II, SOHR VII, Daily Sabah, AFP, SOHR VIII

BURKINA FASO

In April 2022, AOAV recorded one incident of explosive weapon use in Burkina Faso, which resulted in 36 civilian casualties, of whom six were killed and 30 injured. Nine armed-actor casualties were recorded, all of whom died. 

On 24 April 2022, nine soldiers and six civilians were killed, and 30 civilians were injured, in two suicide attacks by the Katibat Macina militant group, in Burkina Faso’s Soum region. The militants were targeting state armed actors.  

In March 2022, there were no recorded incidents of explosive violence in Burkina Faso. In February 2022, there was one recorded incident of explosive violence, which caused 40 armed actor casualties and no civilian casualties. 


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.