On Saturday, April 15th 2017, a bus convoy carrying thousands of evacuees and rebel fighters from villages in Idlib, Syria, was targeted by a bomb, killing at least 126, including over 60 children.
Both the Syrian Observatory and the Syrian state media, said a suicide bomber was behind the attack.
The death toll from the attack is the largest from any attack in Syria so far this year and it is still likely to rise as many of the injured are in a serious condition.
The civilian and rebel evacuees were leaving villages as part of a Shia-Sunni exchange agreement.
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 7500 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.
Despite this, last year saw an increase in the number of deaths and injuries caused by IEDs, compared to the previous year, with a rise of 45%.
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.
Did you find this story interesting? Please support AOAV's work and donate.