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Bachelet warns that Syrian groups see the pandemic as an “opportunity” to intensify their attacks

May 8, 2020

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has warned that the civilian situation in Syria is a “time bomb” and, following an increase in victims in recent weeks, several groups have warned the coronavirus pandemic as an “opportunity” seen escalating their attacks.

Bachelet’s office has documented the deaths of at least 35 civilians from attacks since early April, five times more than in the previous month. In the deadliest attack on April 28, 51 people – 21 of them civilians – were killed by the explosion of a truck bomb in Afrin.

The United Nations has registered 33 homemade bombings since the beginning of March, of which 26 were reported to have occurred in residential areas and seven in markets. Almost all of the incidents occurred in areas of northern and eastern Syria controlled by the Turkish armed forces and allied groups, or by opposition Syrian democratic forces.

Bachelet warns that Syrian groups see the pandemic as an “opportunity” to intensify their attacksBachelet warns that Syrian groups see the pandemic as an “opportunity” to intensify their attacks

The former Chilean president has also expressed concern about the victims of the explosion of remains of the war, such as mines or unexploded devices. Since the beginning of March, 41 such incidents have been registered in which at least 29 people have died.

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