Number of civilians killed or injured by explosives rises 50% in five years

Richard Norton-Taylor
The Guardian

More than 33,000 civilians were killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2015, an increase of more than 50% in five years, according to a wide-ranging survey passed to the Guardian.

The findings appear in Unacceptable Harm, a report by the charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV), which recorded an average of 30 civilian deaths a day from explosive weapons last year. More than 90% of those reported to have been harmed by explosive weapons in populated areas were civilians, it says.

In the last year alone, the number of civilian deaths caused by such weapons increased by as much as 7,682% in Turkey, and 1,204% in Yemen. There were also significant increases in Egypt (142%), Libya (85%), Syria (39%) and Nigeria (22%).

The number of civilians killed or injured by suicide attacks also rose sharply, reaching 9,205 last year, an increase of 68% on 2014, even though the number of individual attacks – 253 – was about the same. More than half of the 16,180 civilians killed or injured by all improvised explosive devices (IEDs), including car bombs, were victims of suicide attacks.

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