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Deadly truck bomb targets rebel-held town in Syria

azazAt least 43 were killed and 53 wounded on Saturday, January 7th 2017, when an explosives-laden truck was detonated in the Syrian rebel-held town of Azaz, near the Turkish border.

The explosion occurred in the commercial district of the town, outside a local courthouse and security headquarters.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reported that the explosion was caused by a rigged fuel tanker.

The town is occupied by opposition forces and anti-government activists, as well as those displaced by the surge of violence in Aleppo. Six rebels are thought to be among the 43 dead.

Whilst no group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, ISIS are seen as the likely perpetrator.

Other organisations, such as the Azaz Media Center believed the death toll to be higher, with 60 dead.

In Syria last year, between January and November alone, there 14,190 deaths and injuries from explosive violence. Of which, 85% were civilians. The highest casualty levels recorded from explosive violence since AOAV’s records began in 2011.

Whilst state actors have been responsible for huge levels of civilian harm in Syria, non-state violence has also been a constant threat to the lives of Syrian civilians. Of the civilian deaths and injuries caused in Syria between 2011 – November 2016, 21% were caused by IEDs.

AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources. The data cannot capture the full scale of civilian suffering in Syria, but is indicative of the patterns of harm that exist when explosive weapons are used in populated areas.

AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. States must urgently address the threat of IEDs. The international community should, more than ever, seek to address IED use and seek to implement effective preventative measures to decrease their harm.

For more information on explosive violence in Syria see here.