Friday, August 18, 2017 | ePaper

Death toll in bomb attack on Syria evacuees rises to 112

  • Print


Smoke billows from the site of a suicide car bombing in Rashidin, west of Aleppo, that targeted buses carrying Syrian evacuees on Saturday.

AFP, Beirut :
The death toll in a suicide car bomb attack on buses carrying Syrians evacuated from two besieged government-held towns has risen to at least 112, a monitoring group said Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that 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.
It said the remainder of the dead were aid workers and rebels tasked with guarding the buses.
It warned the death toll may rise further as "hundreds" more were wounded in the blast.
Dozens of buses carrying several thousand refugees had been stuck by the roadside in the rebel-held town of Rashidin after leaving Fuaa and Kafraya on Friday under a deal reached between the government and opposition groups.
Fuaa and Kafraya have been under rebel siege for more than two years. As part of the deal, several hundred people including armed rebels will be transported out of Madaya and Zabadani, towns near Damascus, which are surrounded by pro-government forces.
Syria's six-year civil war has seen several similar deals, which the government of President Bashar al-Assad says are the best way to end the violence. Rebels say they are being forced to relocate through bombardment and seige.
The government blamed Saturday's attack on "terrorists"-its catch-all term for opposition groups.
The influential rebel Ahrar al-Sham force denied involvement, with a senior official tweeting: "Our role was to secure civilians not kill them."
The blast puts the four-town evacuation deal, brokered partly by rebel backer Qatar and government ally Iran, in doubt.
The Observatory said after the bombing that the evacuation process had resumed, but it was not immediately clear on Sunday if convoys had restarted their journeys.
UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien condemned the bombing in a statement, saying: "The perpetrators of such a monstrous and cowardly attack displayed a shameless disregard for human life."
Pope Francis on Sunday also urged an end to the war in Syria as he presided over the traditional Easter mass in Rome.
The pontiff said he hoped that Jesus Christ's sacrifice might help bring "comfort and relief to the civil population in Syria, prey to a war that continues to sow horror and death".

More News For this Category

Civilian deaths surge in Raqqa as IS tactics slow US-backed advances

Civilian deaths surge in Raqqa as IS tactics slow US-backed advances

VOA News :As U.S.-backed forces continue to make slow progress in their offensive to oust Islamic State (IS) from its self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa, thousands of civilians who are

6th Aussie politician declares duel nationality

6th Aussie politician declares duel nationality

Reuters, Canberra :Australia's widening citizenship crisis entangled a seventh politician on Friday, a key independent senator whose support is critical for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to pass legislation through

Spanish police shoot five suspects dead after terror attack kills 13 in Barcelona

Spanish police shoot five suspects dead after terror attack kills 13 in Barcelona

Reuters, Barcelona :Spain launched a sweeping anti-terrorism operation on Friday, shooting dead five would-be attackers after a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into crowds in Barcelona, killing 13

News In Brief

Paris police evacuate 2,000 migrantsAFP, Paris French police moved out around 2,000 migrants from a makeshift camp in an area north of Paris on Friday, the 35th evacuation operation

US, Japan to advance security, defence ties with India, South Korea and Australia

US, Japan to advance security, defence ties with India, South Korea and Australia

PTI, Washington :The US and Japan have agreed to advance their multilateral security and defence cooperation with India, South Korea and Australia in view of North Korea's dangerous provocative

First group of Qatari pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia by land

First group of Qatari pilgrims enter Saudi Arabia by land

Reuters, Dubai :Qatari pilgrims began arriving in Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Saudi media reported, after Riyadh said it was opening up its border and airports for those attending the

Flood marooned people in Indian states, eases in Nepal

Flood marooned people in Indian states, eases in Nepal

AP, Lucknow :Monsoon flooding is easing in Nepal, but the water flowing downriver has worsened floods in northern India and marooned thousands of villagers across the border, officials said

Assad's march east compounds West's Syria dilemma

Assad's march east compounds West's Syria dilemma

Reuters, Beirut :Syria's war has entered a new phase as President Bashar al-Assad extends his grip in areas being captured from Islamic State, using firepower freed by Russian-backed truces

China military criticises 'wrong' US moves on Taiwan, South China Sea

China military criticises 'wrong' US moves on Taiwan, South China Sea

Reuters, Beijing :The "wrong" actions of the United States on Taiwan, its South China Sea patrols and deployment of an advanced anti-missile system in South Korea have had a large,

News In Brief

Trump at Camp David for Afghanistan talksAFP, Washington US President Donald Trump will meet Friday with his national security team at Camp David, as he mulls whether or not