Death toll after bomb on Syria evacuees rises to 112
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 19, 2017,
Apr 19, 2017, 19:46
The stalled population transfer have resumed after explosion.
Horrific images show lifeless bodies spread across the ground near the buses and dozens of others injured as they were rushed to hospital.
The British-based Observatory said the number was expected to rise.
The evacuation process resumed after the bombing, the Observatory said, with the residents of Fuaa and Kafraya eventually arriving in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, which the government gained full control of a year ago.
Residents from the two villages evacuated Friday, along with more than 2,000 from Madaya, an opposition-held town outside of Damascus besieged by government forces.
The Saturday blast, carried out by a suicide bomber driving a booby-trapped potato truck, rocked the rebel-held Rashideen area in the countryside of Aleppo province, where buses carrying 5,000 pro-government Shiites were waiting for the reactivation of a deal created to secure their transportation to the government-controlled area in Aleppo.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has strongly condemned today a terrorist attack in Syria against a convoy of buses evacuating 5,000 civilians and armed opponents who made a decision to leave their terrorist-besieged towns. "When the explosion happened, I hugged them both and we fell to the floor", she said.
Madaya and Zabadani, once summer resorts to Damascus, have been shattered under the cruelty of a government siege.
Pope Francis called the strike a "vile attack on fleeing refugees" in his Easter address, and the United Nations calls the Syria emergency the "worst humanitarian crisis" since 1945.
The blast puts the four-town evacuation deal, brokered partly by rebel backer Qatar and government ally Iran, in doubt. "All these thousands of people are stuck in less than (500 yards)". Johnson said al-Assad's ally Moscow still had time to be on the "right side of the argument", in a Sunday Telegraph newspaper article.
Afandar said people were not allowed to leave the buses for a while before they were let out.
Thousands of people from rebel-held areas of northern Syria have been evacuated to safer parts of the country.
Around 5,000 evacuees were still awaiting onward transport into Aleppo with buses yet to move 30 hours after the evacuation operation began, according to an AFP correspondent on the scene.