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Syria: Improvised Mines Kill, Injure Hundreds in Manbij

Lessons for Impending Battles in Iraq and Syria

Wednesday 26 October 2016

(Beirut, October 26, 2016) – Homemade landmines have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children, in Manbij, a city in northern Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. The antipersonnel mines, often called improvised explosive devices, were planted by the extremist group Islamic State, also known as ISIS, which until recently controlled the city. Most of the mines appeared to be victim-activated and therefore banned under international law.

During a five-day investigation in the city from October 4 to 9, 2016, Human Rights Watch collected the names of 69 civilians, including 19 children, killed by improvised mines in schools, homes, and on roads during and after the fighting over control for the city. The total is most likely much higher because Human Rights Watch was not able to collect information from all neighborhoods and villages. Hospital staff said that they had treated hundreds of people injured by improvised mines.

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