News Worms
News Worms


Syria: At least 68 children among the dead in bus convoy blast

Syria: At least 68 children among the dead in bus convoy blast

More than 50 buses and 20 ambulances carrying some 5,000 Foua and Kfarya residents entered the government-held city of Aleppo, Syrian state TV said, with some of them later reaching a shelter in the village of Jibreen to the south.

At least 126 people, including 68 children, were killed and dozens of others sustained injuries on Saturday, when a bomber blew up an explosive-laden auto, ripping through several buses carrying evacuees from Kefraya and Foua villages in Idlib as they were waiting in al-Rashidin district to enter the city of Aleppo.

The evacuations were taking place under a deal between Syria's regime and rebels that is also seeing residents and rebels transported out of Madaya and Zabadani, towns near Damascus that are surrounded by pro-government forces.

The Shiite people reached the rebel-held town of Rashideen, while the rebels reached the government-controlled Ramouseh crossing in Aleppo.

In two letters to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council on Sunday, Syria's Foreign Ministry said the barbaric attack clearly revealed that the terror groups, particularly Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist groups, had been wearied by Syria's repeated victories.

The buses had been held up by a disagreement between the two sides about how many rebel gunmen could be evacuated.

Rebels say they amount to forced relocations after years of bombardment and crippling sieges.

Madaya and Zabadani, once summer resorts to Damascus, have been shattered under the cruelty of a government siege. Residents of Foua and Kfraya, besieged by the rebels, have lived under a steady hail of rockets and mortars for years, but were supplied with food and medicine through military airdrops.

Syrians who arrived a day earlier from government-held vilages of Fuaa and Kafraya wait in rebel-held Rashidin, west of Aleppo city, following delays in evacuating them as the hard-won deal ran into trouble on April 15, 2017.

"The situation is disastrous", said Ahmed Afandar, a resident evacuated from the opposition area near Madaya. After the blast, evacuees from opposition areas pleaded for protection fearing revenge attacks.

Afandar said people were not allowed to leave the buses for a while before they were let out.

Syrian state TV blamed the rebels for obstructing the deal.

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