Death toll from Aleppo bus convoy bomb attack at least 126 - Observatory

Nick Mcbride
April 19, 2017

The evacuation convoy was part of the so-called "four towns" deal, involving government-held Foah and Kefraya, as well as rebel-held Madaya and Zabadani near Damascus.

The global community has denounced a deadly vehicle bombing that killed 126 people of a convoy of Shiite evacuees in northern Syria.

Maysa al-Aswad, a 30-year-old evacuee from Kafraya, said she was sitting on one bus with her six-month-old son Hadi and 10-year-old daughter Narjis when the blast shook the parked convoy.

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.

Lake urged not only for regret, but for action to ensure that the war ends soon, saying, "We must draw from this not only anger, but renewed determination to reach all the innocent children throughout Syria with help and comfort".

She said once many had gathered, there was an explosion that tore some of the children to pieces. Under a swap deal, residents from the two Syrian towns al-Foua and Kfraya were being moved into Aleppo in exchange for the relocation of hundreds of Sunni insurgents from government-besieged areas near Damascus.

There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Over 118 evacuees from the Shiite-populated towns of Foua and Kefraya were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself off near the buses at a transit point west of Aleppo Saturday. Rami Abdurrahman - who heads the rights group - and Hezbollah's TV station said on Sunday that 3,000 people would be evacuated from Foua and Kfarya, and 200 from Zabadani and Madaya.

Stephen O'Brien, United Nations relief co-ordinator, said he was "horrified" by the deadly bombing, and that while the UN was not involved in the transfer it was ready to "scale up our support to evacuees".

The influential rebel Ahrar al-Sham force denied involvement, with a senior official tweeting: "Our role was to secure civilians not kill them".

Thousands of people from rebel-held areas of northern Syria have been evacuated to safer parts of the country.

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.

Syria's war has killed more than 320,000 people since erupting in 2011, with more than half the population forced from their homes and hundreds of thousands trapped under siege.

Other reports by VgToday

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