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Saudi, Syria and US governments behind majority of bombings in 2015: Research

A view of the ancient town of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Syrian Government's army is fighting with ISIS militants for control of the heritage site.
Valery Sharifulin | TASS | Getty Images
A view of the ancient town of Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Syrian Government's army is fighting with ISIS militants for control of the heritage site.

Saudi Arabia, Syria and the United States were responsible for the majority of state-led explosive attacks in 2015, according to a new study published by the advocacy group Action on Armed Violence (AOAV).

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, followed by the Syrian government and U.S.-led coalition in Syria, accounted for the majority of government sanctioned bombings in 2015 - in which more than 16,000 people were killed or injured, said the study, released on Tuesday.

It added that 64 percent of those killed or injured were civilians.

Taking into account the raging Syrian civil war - now in its sixth year - Syrians accounted for the largest group of civilians killed or injured last year by bombings.

Operation Inherent Resolve, the name for the U.S.-led coalition, has been combating the so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq in an air campaign since August 2014. It is made up of partner countries that include the U.K., France and Australia. As of April 12, it has conducted over 11,500 strikes in Iraq and Syria, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

The most deadly attacks on civilians were conducted in markets and places of worship, said AOAV. The attack on the Syrian rebel-held city of Douma, close to the capital of Damascus, by the Syrian Air Force was the deadliest attack on civilians in 2015, claiming the lives of at least 100 people and injuring almost 500 more.

When explosive weapons were used in populated areas, 92 percent of those killed and injured were civilians, according to AOAV.

ISIS was responsible for 19 percent of all non-state led bombings in the world last year, followed by attacks from various Syrian rebel groups.

Suicide bombings were recorded in 21 countries- the highest number ever counted by AOAV. They killed and injured 9,205 civilians in 2015, it said.

The worst affected countries by suicide bombers were Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and Syria. 25 percent of all incidents were recorded in Nigeria. The AOAV report stated that if Boko Haram was responsible for all of these incidents (81 in total), it would make them the most prolific user of suicide bombings in 2015.

Turkey, which suffered 45 recorded explosive attacks in 2015, experienced a "steady and terrible increase in harm", with civilian deaths jumping up 7,682 percent, according to the research.

In total, AOAV recorded over 33,000 deaths and injuries of civilians worldwide by explosive weapons – a rise of 54 percent in the past five years.

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