Death toll in bomb attack on Syria evacuees rises to 112

Cheryl Sanders
April 16, 2017

A Madaya resident, speaking from the bus garage in Aleppo, said people had been waiting there since late on Friday night, and were not being allowed to leave.

Hours after the explosions the transfers resumed, with more than 100 buses from both sides arriving at their destinations. A footage aired by a local network - Syrian TV - shows bodies were strewn outside buses, including fighters.

Human rights monitors from Syria said Sunday the death toll from the bombing targeting evacuees leaving two Syrian towns has risen to 126.

A senior rebel official said 20 rebels who guarded the buses were killed as well as dozens of passengers.

They had left under a deal where, in exchange, hundreds of Sunni insurgents and their families were granted safe passage from Madaya and Zabadani, government-besieged towns near Damascus.

The deal, recently reached between the rebels and the government under the supervision of Iran, Turkey and Qatar, was created to secure the evacuation of the people from the pro-government Shiite towns of Kafraya and Foa in Idlib province toward government areas in Aleppo province.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which state media said was carried out by a suicide auto bomber. They were to be transported to Idlib. This is why large numbers of children were killed and injured as they were attracted to the vehicle caryying children's food.

The Madaya and Zabadani evacuees are meant to be transferred to rebel-held territory in Idlib province.

Syria's main armed opposition condemned the bombing, with groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army describing it as a "treacherous terrorist attack".

More than 3,000 Syrians are expected to be evacuated Sunday from four areas as part of a population transfer that was briefly stalled the day before by a deadly blast that killed scores of people, a lot of them government supporters.

He said the dead included 98 people from Foua and Kfarya.

Abdul Rahman said he doesn't believe the Syrian regime is behind the attack.

Residents of al-Foua and Kefraya, the Shiite villages, were waiting in the Rashidin area. The evacuation was reached under a deal between the Bashar al-Assad-led Syrian regime and rebels.

A bus sits damaged after the attack outside Aleppo, Syria at the weekend.

The Syrian American Medical Society said in a statement: "This forced displacement is a clear violation of worldwide humanitarian law, and marks yet another sad chapter in the history of this crisis".

Other reports by iNewsToday