More than 60 children among 126 killed in Syria bus bombing
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 19, 2017,
Apr 19, 2017, 23:46
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 98 evacuees from the northern towns of Fuaa and Kafraya were killed when an explosives-laden vehicle hit their buses at a transit point west of Aleppo on Saturday. Later in the day, a bomber blew up an explosive-laden auto near the convoy, killing large groups of people, mostly children.
Syria's Foreign Ministry says the worldwide community needs to unify its efforts to fight terrorism, and to "stop attempts of misleading and ignoring" the priority of that fight in order to stabilize the country that has been at war for more than six years.
It was not immediately clear whether further evacuations were taking place on Sunday. Body parts and the belongings of evacuees were still strewn at the scene of the attack on April 16, an AFP correspondent said. The news service said the two were evacuated adding that their condition was "satisfactory".
People were evacuating two rebel-held towns in southwest Syria at the same time under a so-called Four Towns Agreement.
"More than 60 children reportedly killed in an attack on a bus convoy yesterday outside Aleppo".
Activist Hussam Mahmoud, who is from Madaya, said the evacuation has been delayed for "logistical reasons".
On Saturday, a bomber targeted the buses as they waited in the militant-held al-Rashidin district on the outskirts of Aleppo to cross into government-controlled territory. He said the area was walled off from all sides and there were no restrooms. Hundreds of people were wounded in the blast, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of sources inside Syria to monitor the conflict.
The evacuation was continued soon after the attack, for which no one has yet claimed responsibility. Maysa, a 30-year-old evacuee from Kafraya, said she was sitting on one of the buses with her six-month-old son Hadi and 10-year-old daughter Narjis when the blast shook the parked convoy. When several dozen had gathered a bomb was detonated, killing more than 80 children and 13 women.
Those killed were mostly residents of the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province.
United Nations relief coordinator Stephen O'Brien said he was "horrified" by the deadly bombing, and that while the United Nations was not involved in the transfer it was ready to "scale up our support to evacuees".
Residents of Madaya and Zabadani, formerly summer resorts, joined the 2011 uprising against President Bashar Assad. 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.
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Associated Press writer Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria contributed to this report.
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