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Explosive Violence Monthly Reports

Explosive Violence in June 2022

In June 2022, Action on Armed Violence recorded 2,442 deaths and injuries from 399 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 71% (1,730) of the deaths and injuries recorded.

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 95% (1,645) of the casualties were civilians, compared to 5% (85) in other areas.

Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 80% (1,380) of civilian casualties, while improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 10% (179) of these civilian casualties in June 2022. Of the main launch method types of manufactured explosive weapons, ground-launched explosive weapons accounted for 58% (999) of civilian casualties, air-launched weapons were responsible for 12% (205) of civilian casualties, and landmines were responsible for 7% (122) of civilian casualties.

At least one death or injury from the use of explosive weapons was recorded in 28 countries and territories in June 2022. The five most affected countries and territories in terms of civilian casualties from the use of explosive weapons were Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Nigeria.

UKRAINE

In June 2022, there were 165 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Ukraine, which resulted in 888 civilian casualties, of whom 238 were killed and 650 injured, including at least 36 children and 32 women. Civilians accounted for 88% of the total 1,010 casualties, as there were also 122 recorded armed-actor casualties, 104 of whom were killed and 18 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 98% (869), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 40% (359) occurred in locations in which the detonation of an explosive weapon affects multiple types of spaces within an urban environment, 31% (275) in urban residential areas, 12% (110) in commercial premises, 5% (40) in humanitarian infrastructure, 3% (30) in villages, 2% (21) in entertainment venues, 2% (18) in other locations, and <1% in markets, public transport, schools, agricultural lands, and town centres respectively. The remaining 2% (19) of civilian casualties occurred in unpopulated roads (12), other unpopulated areas (4), agricultural land (2), and where no location information was reported (1).

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Ukraine were Kharkiv (241 civilian casualties), Donetsk (172), Mykolaiv (99), Poltava (81), Luhansk (71), Sumy (54), Odesa (50), Dnipropetrovsk (41), Ternopil (23), Kherson (19), Rivne (13), Lviv (9), Kyiv (8), Cherkasy (6), and Zaporizhzhia (1). 

The vast majority of civilian casualties, 97% (865), were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons. Specifically, Russian armed forces caused 88% (785) of civilian casualties, and Ukrainian armed forces 9% (79). Unknown state actors caused one civilian casualty. Ukrainian resistance forces caused <1% of civilian casualties, and groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the cases of 2% (18) of civilian casualties. 

The use of ground-launched explosive weapons was the cause of 58% (512) of civilian casualties, specifically shelling (388), artillery shells (58), rockets (54), mortars (6), a combination of explosive weapons (5), and missiles (1).  Air-launched weapons were the cause of 20% (174) of civilian casualties, specifically missiles (134) and air strikes (40). Mines caused 2% (20) of civilian casualties, and non-specific IEDs 1% (12). Combinations of explosive weapons were the cause of 3% (29) of civilian casualties, and weapons of unclear launch methods were the cause of 13% (116).

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Ukraine in June saw a decrease from May, in which 180 incidents were recorded along with 1,049 civilian casualties (411 killed and 638 injured). In April, 108 incidents were recorded, which caused 973 civilian casualties (270 killed and 703 injured).

SYRIA

In June 2022, there were 66 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Syria which resulted in 156 civilian casualties, of whom 29 were killed and 127 injured, including at least eight women and 41 children. Civilians accounted for 62% of the total 252 casualties, as there were also 96 recorded armed-actor casualties, 27 of whom were killed and 69 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 94% (146), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 29% (45) occurred on roads, 25% (39) in villages, 17% (26) in urban residential areas, 9% (14) on agricultural land, 5% (8) in locations where multiple urban areas were damaged, 4% (6) in humanitarian infrastructure, 3% (4) in town centres, 1% (2) in hotels, and <1% (1) in transport-related infrastructure and commercial premises respectively. The remaining 6% (10) of civilian casualties occurred on unpopulated agricultural land (5), roads (2), and other unpopulated areas (3).

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Syria were Daraa (47 civilian casualties), Aleppo (33), Raqqa (22), Hasakah (12), Deir Ezzor (11), Homs (10), Idlib (8), Hama (7), Rif Dimashq (5), and Damascus (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 29% (45), were caused by mines. Unexploded ordnance caused 19%  (30) of civilian casualties, non-specific IEDs 2% (3), and car bombs 1% (2). Ground-launched weapons caused 22% (34) of civilian casualties, specifically rockets (13 civilian casualties), shelling (9), grenades (5), missiles (4), artillery (2), and mortars (1). Air-launched explosive weapons caused 8% (12) of civilian casualties, specifically air strikes (10) and air-dropped bombs (2). Weapons of unclear launch methods caused 19% (30) of civilian casualties. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 68% (107) were caused by actors of unknown name and status. State actors caused 17% (27) of civilian casualties, in particular Turkey (25 civilian casualties), Israel (1), and Syria (1). Non-state actors caused 14% of civilian casualties.

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Syria in June saw a decrease from May, in which 82  incidents were recorded. However, those incidents caused 101 civilian casualties (30 killed and 71 injured).  Levels have continued to rise from April 2022, when there were 57 reported incidents of explosive violence in Syria, which caused 67 civilian casualties (25 killed and 42 injured).

AFGHANISTAN

In June 2022, there were 15 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Afghanistan which resulted in 70 civilian casualties, of whom 16 were killed and 54 injured. There were at least three children among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 75% of the total 93 casualties, as there were also 23 recorded armed-actor casualties, 11 of whom were killed and 12 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 87% (61), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 41% (29) of occurred in markets, 23% (16) in places of worship, 9% (6) in urban residential areas, 9% (6) on public transport, 3% (2) in commercial premises, 1% (1) in villages, and 1% (1) on roads. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan were Nangarhar (25 civilian casualties), Kabul (18), Kunduz (13), Kunar (6), Helmand (4), Maidan Wardak (2), Badakhshan (1), and Kandahar (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 81% (57), were caused by non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons. ISIS were the reported perpetrator in the case of 11% (8) of civilian casualties, and unknown non-state forces were the reported perpetrator in the case of 70% (49). Groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the case of 19% (13) of civilian casualties.

 The use of non-specific IEDs caused 59% of civilian casualties (41), and roadside bombs caused 11% (8). Ground-launched weapons were the cause of 27% (19) of civilian casualties, specifically grenades (12) and UXOs (7). 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan in June 2022 saw a rise from May, in which eight incidents were recorded that caused 66 civilian casualties (20 killed and 46 injured). However, the number of incidents of explosive weapon use remained lower than April, in which 16 reported incidents caused 518 civilian casualties (191 killed, 327 injured). 

MYANMAR

In June 2022, there were 55 recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Myanmar, 26 of which caused 67 civilian casualties, 24 of whom were killed and 43 injured. Civilian casualties included at least nine children and 23 women. Civilians accounted for 23% of the total 296 casualties of explosive weapon use, as 191 armed actors were also reportedly killed and 38 were injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 93% (62), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 64% (43) occurred in villages, 15% (10) in urban residential areas, 6% (4) in encampments, 3% (2) on agricultural land, 1% (1) in places of worship, and 3% (2) of civilian casualties occurred in other populated locations. 

The states in which civilian casualties were reported in Myanmar were Sagaing (27 civilian casualties), Karen (7), Chin (6), Shan (6), Bago (5), Rakhine (4), Kachin (4), Yangon (3), Mon (3), and Magwe (2).

The majority of civilian casualties, 79% (53), were caused by the use of explosive weapons by Myanmar military forces. Unknown non-state actors were the reported perpetrator in the case of 4% (3) of civilian casualties, while People’s Defense Forces were reportedly responsible for 1% (1) of civilian casualties. Groups of unknown status and name were the reported perpetrators in the case of 15% (10) of civilian casualties.

Ground-launched weapons were the cause of 81% (54) of civilian casualties, specifically artillery shells (33 civilian casualties), shelling (17), and mortars (4). Mines caused 10% (7) of civilian casualties, specifically landmines, and non-specific IEDs caused 4%  (3) of civilian casualties. 

The number of recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Myanmar in June 2022 saw a small increase from May, in which 41 incidents were recorded. However, those incidents caused 87 civilian casualties (34 killed and 53 injured). In April, 10 reported incidents of explosive weapon use caused 12 civilian casualties (2 killed, 10 injured). 

NIGERIA

In June 2022, there were eight recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Nigeria, four of which caused 66 civilian casualties, 38 of whom were killed and 28 injured. At least 17 women and 13 children were recorded among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 43% of casualties of explosive weapons use in Nigeria in June, as 89 armed-actor casualties were also recorded, 85 of whom were killed and four injured. 

All of the civilian casualties occurred in populated areas, specifically 77% (51) in places of worship, 17% (11) in encampments, 5% (3) on roads, and 2% (1) in public gatherings.

The states in which civilian casualties were reported in Nigeria were Ondo (51 civilian casualties), Borno (14), and Kogi (1).

All of the civilian casualties were caused by non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons. In particular, Boko Haram caused 17% (11) of civilian casualties and ISWAP 5% (3). Unknown non-state actors were responsible for 79% (52).

The majority of civilian casualties, 79% (52) were caused by non-specific IEDs, and roadside bombs caused 5% (3) of civilian casualties. Ground-launched weapons, specifically mortars, were responsible for 17% (11) of civilian casualties.

The number of recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Nigeria in June 2022 saw a slight rise from May, in which five incidents caused 50 civilian casualties (12 killed and 38 injured). Numbers of incidents and casualties have remained similar throughout April, May and June.



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.