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Car bomb kills 19 civilians in northern Syria

On 6th October 2020, at least 19 civilians were killed in a car bomb explosion in a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkish-backed forces. 

80 civilians were wounded when the vehicle exploded near a bus station in al-Bab, about 40km (25 miles) north-east of Aleppo.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, there has been a string of attacks in al-Bab since its capture by Turkish troops from Islamic State in 2017.

Local security forces have reportedly focused their investigations on the involvement of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). However, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), condemned the attack in al-Bab and instead accused groups affiliated to Turkey that were operating in the area.

The UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, Imran Riza, and the UN’s Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Kevin Kennedy, both strongly condemned the bombing and urged all parties to adhere to international law.

Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language media.

AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor 2019 reports that Syria was the nation most impacted by explosive violence in 2019 as well as the most dangerous place to be a civilian. Of all deaths and injuries caused by explosive violence in Syria in 2019, 83% were suffered by civilians.

AOAV condemns the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and calls on states and the international community to urgently address the threat of explosive weapons attacks that directly impact civilians.