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Injuries and deaths due to victim-activated improvised explosive devices, landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Nepal
  1. Oleg O Bilukha1,
  2. Hugues Laurenge2,
  3. Luhar Danee2,
  4. Krishna P Subedi3,
  5. Kristin Becknell1
  1. 1International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  2. 2United Nations Children's Fund, Kathmandu, Nepal
  3. 3Informal Sector Service Center, Kathmandu, Nepal
  1. Correspondence to Dr Oleg O Bilukha, International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch, Center for Global Health, CDC 4770 Buford Hwy, MS F-60, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA; obilukha1{at}


Background Following more than a decade of civil conflict, Nepal is among the countries affected by landmines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IED) and other explosive remnants of war (ERW).

Objectives To assess the magnitude of injuries due to landmines, victim-activated IED and other ERW in Nepal and to describe epidemiological patterns and risk factors for these events.

Methods Analysis of surveillance data on civilian injuries due to landmines, victim-activated IED and other ERW between July 2006 and June 2010. Data were collected through active community-based prospective surveillance.

Results Of 307 total casualties, 94 (31%) were female and 169 (55%) were children under 18 years of age. The case–fatality ratio was 14%. The highest number of casualties was in the age group 10–14 years. 233 (76%) injuries were caused by victim-activated IED, 13 (4%) by landmines and 44 (14%) by other ERW. Two types of IED, sutali and socket bombs, caused the majority of injuries (28% and 31%, respectively). 117 (38%) of all injuries occurred in victims' homes and 152 (50%) occurred while victims were tampering with explosive devices.

Conclusions Substantial numbers of civilians, including women and children, were injured and killed following implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2006. The government of Nepal and humanitarian organisations should continue their efforts to reach communities at highest risk through targeted interventions and nationwide media campaigns to convey the risks of tampering with explosive devices or suspicious objects.

  • Explosive remnants of war
  • Nepal
  • risk factors
  • surveillance
  • victim-activated improvised explosive devices

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Exempted from review by the Institutional Review Board of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the primary intent of surveillance was determined to be non-research. The study constitutes a secondary analysis of surveillance data routinely collected for programmatic purposes.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.