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Explosive Violence in November 2022

In November 2022, Action on Armed Violence recorded 3,180 deaths and injuries from 508 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 46% (1,459) of the deaths and injuries recorded.

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 83% (1,352) of the casualties were civilians, compared to 7% (107) in other areas.

Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 75% (1,090) of civilian casualties, while improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 20% (288) of these civilian casualties in November 2022. Of the main launch method types of manufactured explosive weapons, ground-launched explosive weapons accounted for 61% (895) of civilian casualties, air-launched weapons were responsible for 9% (126) of civilian casualties, and landmines were responsible for 4% (58) of civilian casualties.

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

UKRAINE

In November 2022, there were 223 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Ukraine, 217 of which resulted in 722 civilian casualties, of whom 171 were killed and 551 injured. Civilian casualties included at least 12 children and 29 women. There were 665 armed-actor casualties recorded in November, of whom 620 were killed and 45 injured.

The majority of civilian casualties, 89% (644), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 356 (48%) occurred in multiple urban areas, and 35% (250) occurred in urban residential areas. Civilian casualties were also recorded in attacks on commercial premises, hospitals, humanitarian infrastructure, markets, schools and villages.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Ukraine were Donetsk (254 civilian casualties), Kherson (217), Kharkiv (75), Dnipropetrovsk (57), Kyiv (52), Zaporizhzhia (38), Mykolaiv (19), Sumy (7), Khmelnytskyi (2) and Odesa (1).

The vast majority of civilian casualties, 97% (699), were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons. Specifically, Russian armed forces caused 96% (690) of civilian casualties and Ukraine’s armed forces caused 1% (9). Perpetrators of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the case of 3% (21) of civilian casualties. Non-state armed groups caused <1% of civilian casualties, specifically unknown non-state actors (2).

The use of ground-launched explosive weapons were the cause of 86% (623) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific shelling (542), combined ground-launched explosive weapons (36), missiles (11), rockets (20), artillery shelling (12), and mortars (2). Weapons of unclear launch method were the cause of 8% (56) of civilian casualties. Air-launched weapons, specifically air strikes, caused 2% (15) civilian casualties. Mines caused 4% (26) of civilian casualties, specifically landmines, and IEDs caused <1% (2), specifically car bombs. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Ukraine in November saw a decrease from October, in which 233 incidents caused 1,013 civilian casualties (298 killed and 715 injured). This is a continued decline since September.

SYRIA

In November 2022, there were 73 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Syria, 30 of which resulted in 175 civilian casualties, 31 of whom were killed and 144 injured. At least eight women and 14 children were reportedly among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 54% of the total 327 casualties, as there were also 152 recorded armed-actor casualties, 90 of whom were killed and 62 injured.

The majority of civilian casualties, 94% (165), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 49% (85) occurred in encampments, 23% (40) in villages, 9% (15) in urban residential areas and 6% (10) in schools.

The regions which saw the highest levels of civilian casualties were Idlib (103 civilian casualties), Hasakah (44), and Aleppo (21).

The majority of civilian casualties, 47% (43), were reportedly caused by state use of explosive weapons, specifically Syrian forces (108 civilian casualties) and Turkey (50). Among non-state actors, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were reported to have caused ten civilian casualties in explosive weapons incidents.

The majority of civilian casualties, 71% (124), were caused by ground-launched weapons, specifically rockets (85), non-specific shelling (16) and artillery shells (15). Air-launched explosive weapons caused 23% (41) of civilian casualties, specifically airstrikes.

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Syria in November 2022 saw a slight decrease compared to October, when 74 incidents were recorded. However, more civilian casualties were recorded in November, as 91 civilian casualties were recorded in October. 

MYANMAR

In November 2022, there were 112 recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Myanmar, 32 of which caused 158 civilian casualties, 37 of whom were killed and 121 injured. Civilian casualties included at least 27 children and 19 women. Civilians accounted for 21% of the total 744 casualties of explosive weapon use, as 586 armed-actor casualties were also recorded, 383 of whom were killed and 203 injured.

The majority of civilian casualties, 97% (154), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 77% (121) occurred in villages, 8% (13) at schools and 7% (11) on transport-related infrastructure.

The states in which the most civilian casualties were reported in Myanmar were Rakhine (69 civilian casualties), Shan (26), Karen (21), and Kayah (14).

The majority of civilian casualties, 85% (135), were caused by the use of explosive weapons by Myanmar military forces. Non-state actors caused 11% (18) of civilian casualties, and 3% (5) civilian casualties were caused by incidents where the status of the perpetrator was unknown.

Ground-launched weapons were the cause of 63% (100) of civilian casualties, specifically artillery shelling (51), mortars (40) and non-specific shelling (9). Air-launched weapons caused 15% (24) of civilian casualties, and IEDs caused 11% (18) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific IEDs (13) and roadside bombs (5).

The number of incidents and recorded civilian casualties from explosive weapon use in Myanmar in November 2022 were comparable to the numbers recorded in October 2022, when 155 civilian casualties were reported, 49 of whom were killed and 106 injured.

TURKEY

In November 2022, there were three recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Turkey, which resulted in 100 civilian casualties, of whom nine were killed and 91 injured. An additional eight armed-actor casualties were also recorded, all of whom were injured.

In one high casualty incident on 13 November 2022, six civilians were killed and 81 were injured when an IED detonated on a busy shopping street near Taksim Square in Istanbul.

AFGHANISTAN

In November 2022, there were six reported incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan, which resulted in 58 civilian casualties, 17 of whom were killed and 41 injured. Civilians accounted for all casualties in November. 

All civilian casualties occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 35 (60%) occurred in schools, nine (16%) in urban residential areas, and 12 (21%) on roads.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan were Samangan (35 civilian casualties), Kabul (7), Balkh (5), Takhar (5) and Kunar (4).

Non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons reportedly caused 93% (54) of civilian casualties, specifically unknown non-state actors. Actors of unknown name and status caused 7% (4) of civilian casualties.

Non-specific IEDs reportedly caused 60% (35) of civilian casualties, mines caused 16% (9), roadside bombs caused 16% (9) and grenades caused 9% (5).

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan fell in November 2022 compared to the previous month, as 11 were recorded in October.



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.