Casualties and Victim Assistance

Last updated: 23 July 2015


Casualties Overview

All known casualties by end 2014

At least 351 mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) casualties (76 killed; 275injured)

Casualties in 2014

9 (2013: 3)

2014 casualties by outcome

2 killed; 7 injured (2013: 3 injured)

2014 casualties by device type

7 antivehicle mine; 2 antipersonnel mine


HALO Trust reported nine landmine casualties in Nagorno-Karabakh in 2014. All casualties were adults, one was a woman. Another two landmine detonations were reported when vehicles carrying out roadworks were struck, but in each case the occupants were not injured although the machines were damaged.[1] The casualty total for 2014 represented an increase from the three casualties HALO reported in Nagorno-Karabakh for 2013.[2] HALO reported five casualties in Nagorno-Karabakh for 2012.[3] In 2014, all mine incidents that occurred in Nagorno-Karabakh happened in areas outside the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Soviet period.[4]

HALO has reported 351 mine/ERW casualties (of which 76 people were killed) in Nagorno-Karabakh between 1995 and the end of 2014. Over a quarter of the total recorded casualties (90) were children, mostly boys. Most casualties were civilians; 37 were military and another nine were deminers. After 2002, antivehicle mines caused the majority of annual mine/ERW incidents.[5] HALO has noted that Nagorno-Karabakh region has an estimated population of less than 150,000, and therefore, that the annual casualty figure is likely to be one of the highest in the world rate per capita.

Cluster munition casualties

Unexploded submunitions caused at least 16 casualties between 1995 and 2014.[6] No new submunition casualties were reported for 2014, however a submunition casualty was reported in 2013.

Victim Assistance

In Nagorno-Karabakh, at least 268 people have been injured by mines and ERW, including cluster munition remnants, in addition to an unknown number of war veterans injured by mines during the conflict.[7] There is no specific victim assistance coordination body, plan, or focal point. Mine/ERW survivors received the same services as other persons with disabilities.[8] The Ministry of Social Welfare is responsible for coordinating and providing prosthetic, psychosocial, and employment services for persons with disabilities, including mine/ERW survivors.[9]

In 2014, the ICRC collected data on the needs of mine/ERW survivors and family members and encouraged the Nagorno-Karabakh Ministry of Social Welfare to input the data into the Information Managment System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database. In parallel with these activities, the ICRC provided support for economic inclusion of mine/ERW survivors.[10]

[1] Email from Andrew Moore, Caucasus & Balkans Desk Officer, HALO, 13 March 2015.

[2] Ibid., 8 July 2014.

[3] Ibid., 25 June 2013.

[4] Clearance is largely restricted to areas within the boundary of the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast of the Soviet period due to donor funding constraints and the casualties occurring in areas that HALO did not have resources to clear.

[5] Emails from Andrew Moore, HALO, 8 July 2014, 25 June 2013, 6 April 2011, and 25 February 2010; from Nick Smart, HALO, 10 April 2012; from Matthew Hovell, Caucasus and Balkans Desk Officer, HALO, 8 July 2009; and from Valon Kumnova, Program Manager, HALO, 6 April 2007. In 2014, it was also reported that since the signing of the ceasefire, 365 civilians, including 91 children, had been casualties of mines/ERW. Caucasian Knot, “HALO Trust: at least 13 people fell victim to mine explosions in NKR in 2014,” 7 January 2015; and Landmine Free Artsakh, “Victims, 2014 Accidents.”

[6] Emails from Nick Smart, HALO, 10 April 2012; from Andrew Moore, HALO, 25 February 2010, and 6 April 2011; from Matthew Hovell, HALO, 8 July 2009; and from Valon Kumnova, HALO, 6 April 2007.

[7] Based on data provided in emails from HALO (see footnote 3); and email from Andrew Moore, HALO, 25 June 2013.

[8] ICBL-CMC, “Area Profile: Nagorno-Karabakh,” 21 July 2010.

[9] Government of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, “Statute of the Ministry of Social Welfare,” undated.

[10] Email from Herbi Elmazi, ICRC, 25 July 2014.