On June 2nd, 2019, at least 22 people were killed in a car bombing in the city of Azaz in the Aleppo province of northwestern Syria.
Among the dead were five children, and another 18 people were injured.
The bombing occurred in a busy marketplace near a mosque as people were leaving evening prayers. The timing of the bombing also coincided with the end of the iftar meal, which breaks the day-long fast practiced by Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan.
The casualties included people shopping for clothing and gifts for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan. The blast damaged dozens of stores and burned at least six stories of buildings.
Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.
Although Syria remained the worst impacted country globally from explosive violence last year, AOAV recorded a 27% decrease in civilian casualties (from 13,062 in 2017 to 9,587 in 2018), alongside a drop in explosive violence incidents (from 1,750 in 2017 to 1,224 in 2018). Nevertheless, almost 10,000 civilian deaths and injuries were recorded by AOAV as a result of the direct impacts of explosive weapons in the country.
In total, across the entirety of the country, state actors were responsible for over three-quarters (77%) of civilian casualties from explosive violence. Nevertheless, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were responsible for 13% of civilian casualties from explosive violence in Syria last year.
AOAV calls on all states to urgently address the threat of IED attacks. There is an urgent need for preventative measures to be implemented by States and the international community.