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Civilian victims of explosive weapons rises by 15% 

First published 15th May 2014

A major new report released yesterday by IPN member Action on Armed Violence shows that civilian deaths and injuries in 2013 have increased by 15% since 2012. 

The data shows that civilians are bearing the brunt of deaths and injuries from explosive weapons. AOAV recorded 37,809 deaths in injuries in 2013, 82% of which were civilians.  

These stark figures mean that civilian casualties from bombings and shelling worldwide have gone up for a second consecutive year.

This data is captured in AOAV’s latest report, Explosive Events, which analyses the global harm from the use of explosive weapons like missiles, artillery and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

The full report can be downloaded here.  


  • Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Lebanon were the most affected countries in the world. More than a third of the world’s civilian casualties from explosive weapons were recorded in Iraq, where AOAV saw a dramatic escalation in bombings with improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

  • Seventy-one percent (71%) of civilian casualties from explosive weapons worldwide were caused by IEDs like car bombs and roadside bombs.

  • Civilian casualties in Iraq increased by 91% from 2012, with more than 12,000 deaths and injuries recorded in the country in 2013.

  • Market places were bombed in 15 countries and territories, causing 3,608 civilian casualties.

  • Ballistic missiles, used only in Syria, caused an average of 49 civilian casualties per incident, the highest for any explosive weapon type