Welcome to our new post in this post we talk about Civilians injured by explosives. According to recent research, the highest number of Civilians injured or death due to explosions in over a decade was observed last year. UK-based charity Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded a 122% increase in civilian deaths caused by explosions in 2023.
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This surge is primarily attributed to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, notably in Gaza. Conflicts in Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia also contributed to these numbers.
The research conducted by the London-based charity is utilized by international forums like the United Nations, and evidence has been presented in the UK Parliament.
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In 2023, AOAV identified at least 7,307 explosive incidents worldwide, which is over 4,322 more than those recorded in the previous year. These incidents resulted in the deaths of at least 15,305 civilians, marking a 122% increase from 2022, with thousands more injured.
AOAV highlighted that Israel’s military campaign in response to Hamas attacks in Gaza contributed significantly to the dramatic rise in civilian casualties. The number of incidents involving explosive weapons in Gaza, according to AOAV, accounted for “a major reason for such a theatrical increase” in the total global count, which is nearly three-quarters of the global total.
Within this, 920 incidents of explosive weapon use were recorded in Gaza, resulting in 9,334 fatalities, a figure lower than other estimates.
AOAV clarifies that its data does not encompass all casualties but reveals a clear trend in explosive violence. It notes that reports from reputable media organizations are included in the data. The charity stated that Israel’s military campaign in response to Hamas attacks in Gaza, initiated on October 7, also contributed significantly to the substantial increase in the number of aerial attacks recorded.
AOAV’s research indicates a 226% increase in the use of air-launched weapons worldwide in 2023, totaling 1,694 incidents, up from 519 in 2022.
Israel has repeatedly stated that it has taken unprecedented steps to avoid civilian casualties, including issuing warnings before airstrikes. However, AOAV’s research suggests that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas has an adverse impact on civilians.
AOAV Director Ian Overton emphasized that its data should serve as a stern warning to states that the use of explosive weapons in urban areas adversely affects civilians. The charity noted a notable increase in the use of ground-launched weapons in 2023.
Israel was identified as the “most harmful state actor” globally, responsible for 77% of civilian deaths due to explosions. AOAV states that Israel was the “most harmful state actor to date in 2023,” causing 12,950 civilian casualties, including deaths and injuries, due to over 1,000 attacks.
Russia ranked second, with 8,351 civilian casualties recorded in its conflict with Ukraine. Ongoing conflicts in Sudan, Myanmar, Syria, and Somalia have also contributed to the highest number of civilian casualties recorded by AOAV since 2010.
Last year, there was an increase in the use of explosive weapons attributed to non-state actors and banned groups. However, AOAV reported an 8% decrease in the number of civilians killed by non-state actors.