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Explosive Violence Monthly Reports

Explosive Violence in August 2022

In August 2022, Action on Armed Violence recorded 3,196 deaths and injuries from 454 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 65% (2,067) of the deaths and injuries recorded.

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 92% (1,971) of the casualties were civilians, compared to 9% (96) in other areas.

Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 79% (1,636) of civilian casualties, while improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 15% (301) of these civilian casualties in August 2022. Of the main launch method types of manufactured explosive weapons, ground-launched explosive weapons accounted for 62% (1,279) of civilian casualties, air-launched weapons were responsible for 14% (293) of civilian casualties, and landmines were responsible for 3% (60) of civilian casualties.

At least one death or injury from the use of explosive weapons was recorded in 27 countries and territories in August 2022. The five most affected countries and territories in terms of civilian casualties from the use of explosive weapons were Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Afghanistan.

UKRAINE

In August 2022, there were 171 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Ukraine, 164 of which resulted in 758 civilian casualties, of whom 205 were killed and 553 injured. Civilian casualties included at least 35 children and 62 women. Civilians accounted for 73% of the total 1,032 casualties, as there were also 274 recorded armed-actor casualties, 272 of whom were killed and two injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 96% (731), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 41% (308) occurred in urban residential areas, 37% (278) across multiple urban locations, 9% (68) in transport-related infrastructure, 4% (30) in town centres, 3% (23) in villages, 1% (8) on roads, and <1% in public buildings, commercial premises, hotels, and schools respectively. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Ukraine were Donetsk (315 civilian casualties), Dnipropetrovsk (150), Kharkiv (142), Mykolaiv (80), Zaporizhzhia (38), Kherson (15), Odesa (7), Sumy (6), Khmelnytskyi (3), and Cherkasy (2). 

The vast majority of civilian casualties, 99% (748), were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons. Specifically, Russian armed forces caused 90% (683) of civilian casualties, Ukrainian armed forces caused 7% (53), and unknown state actors caused 2% (12). Non-state armed groups caused <1% of civilian casualties, specifically Ukrainian resistance forces (2). Groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the cases of 1% (8) of civilian casualties. 

The use of ground-launched explosive weapons was the cause of 83% (626) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific shelling (388), rockets (111), missiles (69), artillery (46), a combination of ground-launched explosive weapons (8), and mortars (4). Directly-emplaced weapons were the cause of 2% (12) of civilian casualties, in particular landmines (7), anti-personnel mines (3), and non-specific IEDs (2). Air-launched weapons were the cause of <1% (6) of civilian casualties, specifically missiles (4) and rockets (2). Weapons of unclear launch method were the cause of 15% (114) of civilian casualties, specifically missiles (106), and rockets (8).

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Ukraine in August saw a small rise from July, in which 169 incidents were recorded. However, in July, 1,265 civilian casualties were recorded (358 killed and 907 injured). In June, 165 incidents were recorded, which caused 888 civilian casualties (238 killed and 650 injured).

IRAQ

In August 2022, there were 22 reported incidents of explosive weapon use in Iraq, six of which resulted in 443 civilian casualties, 32 of whom were killed and 411 injured. At least two civilian casualties were reportedly children. Civilians accounted for 90% of all 492 casualties, as 49 armed-actor casualties were also recorded, 28 of whom were killed and 21 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 99% (441), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 93% (431) occurred in urban residential areas, 2% (9) in encampments, and <1% (1) in villages.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Iraq were Baghdad (429 civilian casualties), Erbil (5), Nineveh (4), Diyala (4), and Kirkuk (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 97% (429), were caused by groups of unknown status and name. Non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons caused 2% (9) of civilian casualties, specifically unknown non-state actors (7) and ISIS (2). State actors caused 1% (5) of civilian casualties, specifically Turkey.

The use of ground-launched weapons caused 97% (429) of civilian casualties, specifically combined explosive weapons. Directly-emplaced weapons caused 2% (9) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific IEDs. Air-launched weapons caused 1% (5) of civilian casualties, specifically air strikes. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Iraq in August 2022 saw a rise from July, in which 17 incidents were recorded, which caused 89 civilian casualties (20 killed and 69 injured). In June, there were 21 reported incidents of explosive weapon use which caused 46 civilian casualties (16 killed and 30 injured).

SYRIA

In August 2022, there were 70 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Syria, 35 which resulted in 170 civilian casualties, of whom 37 were killed and 133 injured. At least 14 women and 47 children were reportedly among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 59% of the total 290 casualties, as there were also 120 recorded armed-actor casualties, 64 of whom were killed and 56 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 99% (163), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 37% (63) occurred in markets, 28% (47) in urban residential areas, 10% (17) in villages, 9% (15) in schools, 5% (9) in town centres, 4% (7) on agricultural lands, and 3% (5) across multiple urban areas.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Syria were Aleppo (85 civilian casualties), Hasakah (38), Daraa (15), Hama (14), Idlib (12), Suweida (3), Quneitra (2), and Raqqa (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 59% (101), were caused by ground-launched weapons,  specifically rockets (52), non-specific shelling (34), mortars (5), artillery shells (3), grenades (3), tank shells (2), combined ground-launched weapons (1), and missiles (1). Air-launched explosive weapons caused 32% (54) of civilian casualties, specifically airstrikes. Directly-emplaced weapons caused 6% (10) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific IEDs. Combined launch methods caused 6% (9) of civilian casualties, and weapons of unclear launch method caused 3% (5) of civilian casualties. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 92% (156) were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons, specifically Syria (70), Turkey (66), Israel (16), and Russia (2). Unknown state actors caused two civilian casualties. Non-state actors were the reported perpetrators of 6% (11) of civilian casualties, specifically unknown non-state actors (5), ISIS (5), and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) (1). Actors of unknown name and status caused 2% (3) of civilian casualties.

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Syria in August remained consistent with levels seen in July, in which 71 incidents and 158 civilian casualties were recorded (33 killed and 125 injured). Civilian casualties have continued to increase from June 2022, when there were 66 reported incidents of explosive violence in Syria, which caused 156 civilian casualties (29 killed and 127 injured). 

OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

In August 2022, there were 31 reported incidents of explosive weapon use in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), 20 of which resulted in 157 civilian casualties, 37 of whom were killed and 120 injured. At least 53 civilian casualties were reportedly children and 26 were women. Civilians accounted for 96% of all 164 casualties, as seven armed-actor casualties were also recorded, all of whom were killed. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 97% (152), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 39% (61) occurred in encampments, 35% (55) in urban residential areas, 8% (12) in villages, 6% (9) across multiple urban locations, 4% (6) at public gatherings, 3% (5) in agricultural land, 2% (3) in other locations, and <1% (1) in places of worship. 

The districts in which civilian casualties were reported in Gaza were Rafah (50 civilian casualties), Gaza (44), North Gaza (41), Khan Younis (16) and Deir al-Balah (5). The district in which civilian casualties were reported in the West Bank was Nablus.

The majority of civilian casualties, 95% (149), were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons, specifically Israel. The remaining 5% (8) of civilian casualties were caused by groups of unknown name and status.  

The use of air-launched weapons caused the majority, 87% (136), of civilian casualties, specifically air-strikes (73) and missiles (63). Weapons of unclear launch method caused 7% (11) of civilian casualties, specifically rockets (7) and missiles (4). Ground-launched weapons caused 6% (10) of civilian casualties, specifically artillery shelling (7), non-specific shelling (2), and missiles. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in OPT in August 2022 saw a sharp rise from July and June, in which no incidents were recorded.

AFGHANISTAN

In August 2022, there were 14 reported incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan, 10 of which resulted in 152 civilian casualties, 47 of whom were killed and 105 injured. At least six civilian casualties were reportedly children and one was a woman. Civilians accounted for 85% of all 179 casualties, as 27 armed-actor casualties were also recorded, 12 of whom were killed and 15 injured. 

All civilian casualties occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 36% (54) occurred in places of worship, 20% (31) in commercial premises, 17% (26) at public gatherings, 16% (25) in urban residential areas, 9% (13) on public transport, 1% (2) in public buildings, and <1% (1) in schools. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan were Kabul (147 civilian casualties) and Balkh (5).

All civilian casualties were caused by non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons. Unknown non-state actors caused 63% (95) of civilian casualties, and Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) were the reported perpetrators in the case of 38% (57) of civilian casualties.  

The use of directly-emplaced weapons caused all civilian casualties. Specifically, non-specific IEDs reportedly caused 80% (122) of civilian casualties, car bombs caused 11% (17), and roadside bombs caused 9% (13).

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan in August 2022 saw a sharp rise from July, in which four incidents reportedly caused 27 civilian casualties (three killed, 24 injured). In June, there were 12 reported incidents of explosive weapon use which caused 63 civilian casualties (13 killed, 50 injured).



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.