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Islamic State suicide attacks kill at least 50 in Syria

Yesterday, October 12th 2017, at least 50 people were killed in a triple suicide car bomb attack on a group of refugees in northeast Syria.

The attack took place at Abu Fas, in Hasakeh province, near Deir Ezzor’s border. Many have been displaced by the violence in Deir Ezzor.

Most of the dead are thought to be those displaced by such conflict, as well as some members of the security forces.

More than 50 were also injured in the attack.

An SDF spokesman reported to AFP that after the blast, “the civilians escaped towards desert areas where mines exploded and the toll rose”.

Islamic State, who have lost large areas of their previous territory in recent months, claimed the attack.

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.

Last year, AOAV recorded 15,640 deaths and injuries in Syria from explosive violence – as recorded in English-language news media. Of these, 85% (13,313) were civilians.

When explosive violence was used in a populated area in Syria 97% of the casualties were civilian.

Whilst the majority of civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence in Syria were caused by state explosive weapons (56% or 7,500 civilians), non-state actors were responsible for at least 41% (5,493) – for remainder the perpetrator status was unclear.

IEDs made up 14% of all civilian deaths and injuries from explosive violence in Syria in 2016.

Further, last year, Syria saw an 50 % increase in the number of casualties caused by IEDs, compared to the previous year.

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 on counter-IED initiatives, please see here. To read AOAV’s recent report, Understanding the rising cult of the suicide bomber, please see here.