State parties to a conflict often produce copious detailed on-the-ground records as part of their operational procedures, for intelligence purposes among others. These records are collated by military and/or intelligence personnel, and, according to the nature of the conflict and the context can be held by the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of the Interior, the State Department, and other relevant ministries.
Like police reports, they tend to focus on the immediate circumstances of an incident, based on the observations and investigations of on-the-ground personnel, and so are important sources of information regarding the date, time, location, and nature of incidents in which people were injured and killed.The most substantial access to military records tends to come either unofficially, or through official public disclosures as part of freedom of information processes, or post-conflict investigatory processes. They contain precise, unedited documentary information relating to the circumstances and consequences of individual acts of violence, and the individual victims of that violence. First reports by military forces are useful for initial numbers of people killed in an incident. Military documents are less useful for victim data and final numbers.
THE RANGE OF SOURCES IN CASUALTY RECORDING, pp. 7-8