Armed ViolenceNews

Explosive Weapons Responsible For 59 Civilian Casualties In April 2022- Report

In April, Nigeria recorded an increase in civilian casualties caused by the use of explosive weapons, with non-specific improvised explosive devices being responsible for most civilian casualties.

Explosive weapons caused 59 civilian casualties in Nigeria including at least six children in April 2022, according to a report by Action on Armed Violence. 

The United Kingdom-based organisation said it recorded six incidents of explosive weapons in April in Nigeria, which it said resulted in 59 civilian casualties, 17 of them died and 42 injured. 

“There were at least six children among the civilian casualties. Civilians accounted for 95 per cent  of the total 62 casualties, as there were also three recorded armed-actor casualties, all of whom were killed,” the report stated

Most of the civilian casualties (71 per cent) occurred in populated areas, particularly in entertainment venues, while 19 per cent of civilian casualties occurred in agricultural areas, and 10 per cent occurred in other or unknown locations.

The report disclosed that the majority of civilian casualties, 58 per cent, were caused by non-state actors’ use of explosive weapons, specifically the Islamic State affiliate in the country.  

Security forces were said to be responsible for 10 per cent of the civilian casualties recorded. The report said groups of unknown status and name were the perpetrators in the case of 32 per cent of civilian casualties. 

According to Action on Armed Violence, the use of non-specific improvised explosive devices was the cause of 90 per cent of civilian casualties. 

It added that “Artillery shells were the cause of 10 per cent of civilian casualties, and 100 per cent of the casualties that were reported as children”.

The regions in which civilian casualties were reported in Nigeria were Taraba with 34 civilian casualties, and Borno with 11 cases. Yobe and Niger had eight and six respectively. While three armed-actor casualties took place in Katsina.

The number of incidents of explosive weapons use in April increased from March with four incidents and two civilian casualties recorded, the report revealed.  

In February, there were seven reported incidents of explosive violence in Nigeria, which caused 14 civilian casualties.


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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