Record number of civilian casualties in 2023: Report

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Last year witnessed the highest number of civilian casualties caused by airstrikes, bombs or artillery in more than a decade, reveals a report by a U.K.-based monitoring group.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) recorded 33,846 non-combatants killed or wounded during 2023, an increase of 62 percent compared to the year before, marking the largest figure since its annual survey began in 2010.

The total surpassed casualty levels seen during the peak of the Syrian civil war and the early Western campaign against the ISIL terror organization between 2013 and 2017, when casualties regularly exceeded 30,000.

AOAV is a London-based charity that records and monitors evidence of armed violence against civilians worldwide. Its reporting and analysis are used by international forums such as the U.N. It has also presented its evidence to the U.K.’s parliament.

 Some 122-pct rise in casualties by explosives

In 2023, AOAV identified at least 7,307 explosive incidents around the globe, up from 4,322 recorded the previous year.

The attacks caused the deaths of at least 15,305 civilians, accounting for a rise of 122 percent from 2022. Tens of thousands more were injured, the report added.

The report described Israel’s war in Gaza as “a major cause for such a dramatic increase” in civilian casualties, accounting for around one-third of the global total.

It recorded 920 incidents of explosive weapons use in Gaza, resulting in 9,334 people being killed.

Conflicts in Ukraine, Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia also contributed to the figure, the monitoring group noted.

Each airstrike in Gaza where civilian harm was reported saw an average of 11.1 civilians reported killed, higher than a previous estimate and more than four times more deadly than the most aggressive previous Israeli operations. Previously the highest equivalent average was 2.5 deaths, according to the monitoring group.

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