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Explosive violence researchAOAV: all our reportsExplosive Violence Monthly Reports

Explosive Violence in September 2022

In September 2022, Action on Armed Violence recorded 2,880 deaths and injuries from 476 incidents of explosive violence around the world, as reported in English-language media. Civilians accounted for 77% (2,220) of the deaths and injuries recorded.

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 92% (2,073) of the casualties were civilians, compared to 23% (147) in other areas.

Manufactured explosive weapons accounted for 78% (1,742) of civilian casualties, while improvised explosive weapons (IEDs) accounted for 22% (301) of these civilian casualties in September 2022. Of the main launch method types of manufactured explosive weapons, ground-launched explosive weapons accounted for 61% (1,365) of civilian casualties, air-launched weapons were responsible for 10% (231) of civilian casualties, and landmines were responsible for 3% (68) of civilian casualties.

At least one death or injury from the use of explosive weapons was recorded in 30 countries and territories in September 2022. The five most affected countries and territories in terms of civilian casualties from the use of explosive weapons were Ukraine, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, and Syria.

UKRAINE

In September 2022, there were 251 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Ukraine, 243 of which resulted in 1,140 civilian casualties, of whom 310 were killed and 830 injured. Civilian casualties included at least 37 children and 34 women. Civilians accounted for 99% of the total 1,155 casualties, as there were also 15 recorded armed-actor casualties, nine of whom were killed and six injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 92% (1,050), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 33% (375) occurred in urban residential areas, 32% (360) in locations in which the detonation of an explosive weapon affects multiple types of spaces within an urban environment, 15% (174) on roads, 4% (47) in villages, 1% (15) on public transport, 1% (14) in hospitals, 1% (13) in humanitarian infrastructure, 1% (12) markets, and <1% in town centres, transport-related infrastructure, hotels, schools, and public buildings.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Ukraine were Donetsk (493 civilian casualties), Kharkiv (227), Zaporizhzhia (210), Dnipropetrovsk (120), Mykolaiv (56), Kherson (15), Sumy (13), Luhansk (5), and Odesa (1).  

The vast majority of civilian casualties, 98% (1,119), were caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons. Specifically, Russian armed forces caused 76% (865) of civilian casualties, unknown state actors caused 15% (168), and Ukraine’s armed forces caused 8% (86). Groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrator in the cases of 1% (17) of civilian casualties. Non-state armed groups caused <1% of civilian casualties, specifically Ukrainian resistance forces (4). 

The use of ground-launched explosive weapons were the cause of 90% (1,022) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific shelling (699), ground-launched missiles (206), ground-launched rockets (71), artillery shelling (28), combined ground-launched weapons (16), and tank shelling (2). Weapons of unclear launch method caused 6% (63) of civilian casualties, specifically missiles (60) and rockets (3). Mines caused 2% (25) of civilian casualties, specifically landmines. Air-launched explosive weapons were the cause of 1% (14) of civilian casualties, specifically air strikes (9) and air-launched missiles (5). Combined explosive weapons and IEDs, specifically non-specific IEDs, caused <1% of civilian casualties.

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Ukraine in September saw a significant rise from August, in which 171 incidents caused 758 civilian casualties (205 killed and 553 injured). In July, 169 incidents were recorded, which caused 1,265 civilian casualties (358 killed and 907 injured).

AFGHANISTAN

In September 2022, there were six reported incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan, which resulted in 276 civilian casualties, 85 of whom were killed and 191 injured. At least seven civilian casualties were reportedly children. Civilians accounted for 96% of all 289 casualties, as 13 armed-actor casualties were also recorded, four of whom were killed and nine injured. 

All civilian casualties occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 59% (163) occurred in schools, 32% (89) in places of worship, 6% (17) in public buildings, 1% (4) in markets, and 1% (3) in urban residential areas. 

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan were Kabul (231 civilian casualties), Herat (41), and Takhar (4).

Non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons reportedly caused 99% (272) of civilian casualties. Unknown non-state actors caused 92% (255) of civilian casualties, and Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIS-K) were the reported perpetrators in the case of 6% (17) of civilian casualties.

The use of IEDs caused 99% (272) civilian casualties. Specifically, non-specific IEDs reportedly caused 81% (224) of civilian casualties, and car bombs caused 17% (48). Ground-launched weapons, specifically grenades, caused 1% (4) of civilian casualties.

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Afghanistan in September 2022 saw a decrease from August, in which 14 incidents were recorded. However, fewer civilian casualties, 152 (47 killed and 105 injured) were recorded in August. In July, there were four reported incidents of explosive weapon use which caused 27 civilian casualties (three killed and 24 injured).

MYANMAR

In September 2022, there were 44 recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Myanmar, 31 of which caused 115 civilian casualties, 27 of whom were killed and 88 injured. Civilian casualties included at least 44 children and 14 women. Civilians accounted for 56% of the total 207 casualties of explosive weapon use, as 82 armed actors were also reportedly killed and 10 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 94% (108), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 39% (45) occurred in villages, 21% (24) in schools, 17% (20) in places of worship, 7% (8) on roads, 6% (7) in urban residential areas, and 3% (4) in public buildings. 

The states in which civilian casualties were reported in Myanmar were Sagaing (38 civilian casualties), Rakhine (28), Shan (26), Kachin (7), Karen (7), Mandalay (4), Mon (3), Chin (1), and Magway (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 86% (99), were caused by the use of explosive weapons by Myanmar military forces. Groups of unknown name and status were the reported perpetrator in the case of 8% (9) of civilian casualties. Groups belonging to the People’s Defense Forces (PDF) were the reported perpetrators in the case of 6% (7) of civilian casualties.

Ground-launched weapons were the cause of 62% (71) of civilian casualties, specifically artillery shells (49), non-specific shelling (21), and mortars (1). Air-launched weapons caused 21% (24) of civilian casualties, specifically air strikes. Mines caused 9% (10) of civilian casualties, specifically landmines (10), and IEDs caused 9% (10), specifically roadside bombs (6), and non-specific IEDs (4). 

The number of recorded incidents of explosive weapon use in Myanmar in September 2022 saw a small decrease from August, in which 49 incidents were recorded. However, fewer civilian casualties, 103, were recorded in August. In July, 41 reported incidents of explosive weapon use caused 64 civilian casualties (22 killed and 42 injured). 

KYRGYZSTAN

In September 2022, there was one recorded incident of explosive weapon use in Kyrgyzstan, which resulted in 111 civilian casualties, 24 of whom were killed and 87 injured. There were no armed-actor casualties recorded in Kyrgyzstan in September. 

SYRIA

In September 2022, there were 61 incidents of explosive weapon use recorded in Syria, 30 of which resulted in 110 civilian casualties, of whom 30 were killed and 80 injured. At least 12 women and 24 children were reportedly among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 45% of the total 245 casualties, as there were also 135 recorded armed-actor casualties, 106 of whom were killed and 29 injured. 

The majority of civilian casualties, 86% (95), occurred in populated areas. Specifically, 47% (52) occurred in villages, 14% (15) in urban residential areas, 7% (8) in transport-related infrastructure, 5% (6) on public transport, 5% (5) in encampments, 4% (4) in markets, 4% (4) in armed bases, and 1% (1) in commercial premises.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Syria were Idlib (37 civilian casualties), Aleppo (32), Hasakah (14), Raqqa (11), Lattakia (8), Daraa (6), Quneitra (1), and Hama (1).

The majority of civilian casualties, 66% (73) were reportedly caused by state actors’ use of explosive weapons, specifically Russia (32), Turkey (21), Israel (8), and Syria (5). Unknown state actors caused seven civilian casualties. Non-state actors were the reported perpetrators of 21% (23) of civilian casualties, specifically unknown non-state actors (21), ISIS (1), and Turkish-backed militants (1). Actors of unknown name and status caused 13% (14) of civilian casualties.

The majority of civilian casualties, 46% (51), were caused by air-launched weapons, specifically air strikes (50) and missiles (1). Ground-launched explosive weapons caused 27% (30) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific shelling (13), grenades (12), and artillery shelling (5). IEDs caused 16% (18) of civilian casualties, specifically non-specific IEDs (17), and roadside bombs (1). Mines caused 5% (6) of civilian casualties, in particular landmines. 

The number of incidents of explosive weapon use in Syria in September saw a decrease from August, in which 70 incidents and 170 civilian casualties were recorded (37 killed and 133 injured). In July, there were 71 reported incidents of explosive violence in Syria, which caused 158 civilian casualties (33 killed and 125 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.