Wednesday, May 24, 2017 | ePaper

Syria evacuations resume after deadly bombing

  • Print


Syrian civilians being evacuated from the government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya, which have been under crippling siege for more than two years, on buses near the rebel-held transit point of Rashidin on Wednesday.

AFP, Rashidin :
The evacuation of four besieged Syrian towns resumed Wednesday, with tight security in place for those leaving government-held areas after a weekend bombing against evacuees killed dozens including nearly 70 children.
A large convoy of buses set out from the government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya in Syria's Idlib province, carrying 3,000 people to the rebel-held transit point of Rashidin near Aleppo city, an AFP correspondent at the point said.
At the same time, 11 buses carrying around 300 people left rebel-held Zabadani, Serghaya and Jabal Sharqi in Damascus province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
In Rashidin, security was tight after a devastating bomb attack on evacuees at the site on Saturday that according to the Observatory killed 126 people, including 68 children.
Most of the dead were evacuees from the two Shiite-majority towns, with a handful of aid workers and rebels guarding the convoy also among the dead.
Dozens of wounded were taken to hospitals in nearby rebel-held territory, while others were taken to Aleppo, which government forces regained full control of late last year.
Armed rebels were standing guard at Rashidin on Wednesday and carefully inspecting vehicles arriving in the area.
Buses were parked in a semi-circle, forming a makeshift barrier around an area in the centre of a lot where evacuees including dozens of children milled.
Pro-government militiamen among those being evacuated from Fuaa and Kafraya squatted next to one bus, smoking cigarettes.
Standing nearby, 55-year-old Um Joud from Fuaa said it was difficult to describe how she felt.
"I'm not afraid, because everything is in God's hands," she told AFP.
"Of course I would have preferred to stay in my home, but I left for the sake of my children and their lives and futures."
The evacuations are taking place under a deal between government and opposition representatives that is also seeing residents and rebels transported out from several areas under regime siege near Damascus, primarily Madaya and Zabadani.
It was brokered late last month by Qatar, a longtime opposition supporter, and Iran, a key regime ally, but its implementation had been repeatedly delayed.
When Wednesday's evacuations are complete, a total of 8,000 people should have left Fuaa and Kafraya, including pro-government fighters and civilians.

More News For this Category

Trump plays up ME peace hopes after talks with Abbas

Trump plays up ME peace hopes after talks with Abbas

Reuters, Bethlehem : US President Donald Trump talked up the prospects of peace between Israelis and Palestinians on Tuesday, saying he believed both sides were committed to an historic deal,

South Korea’s ex- president Park denies charges as corruption trial begins

South Korea’s ex- president Park denies charges as corruption trial begins

AP, Seoul :Former President Park Geun-hye denied corruption charges Tuesday at the start of a criminal trial that could potentially send South Korea's first female leader to prison for life.Police

Philippines, China play down Duterte's talk of war in disputed Sea

Reuters, Manila :The Philippines and China played down on Monday a warning by President Rodrigo Duterte that China would go to war if the Philippines drilled for oil in the

Outgoing WHO Chief says world 'better prepared' for health crises

Outgoing WHO Chief says world 'better prepared' for health crises

AFP, Geneva  :The World Health Organization's outgoing chief Margaret Chan defended her legacy Monday, insisting the world had become better prepared to face health emergencies like Ebola on her watch.In

Two Indonesian men caned for gay sex before jeering crowd

AFP, Banda Aceh :Two Indonesian men were caned Tuesday in front of a jeering crowd as a punishment for gay sex, in a first for the Muslim-majority country where there

News In Brief

Militants kill 10 Afghan soldiers in base attackReuters, Kabul Militants attacked an Afghan government army base in the southern province of Kandahar, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding nine,

South Korea fires at suspected drone at border with North amid missile crisis

South Korea fires at suspected drone at border with North amid missile crisis

Reuters, Seoul :South Korea's military fired warning shots at a suspected drone from North Korea on Tuesday amid tension over Pyongyang's latest missile test which drew international condemnation and a

Iran reformists sweep Tehran municipal council election

Iran reformists sweep Tehran municipal council election

AP, Tehran :Candidates backing reform of Iran's clerically overseen government swept municipal elections in Tehran, taking all 21 local council seats in the country's capital while moderate President Hassan

No time for Brexit delays, says May as poll lead slips

No time for Brexit delays, says May as poll lead slips

Reuters, London :Prime Minister Theresa May will on Monday urge voters to back her to deliver the country's exit from the European Union, playing one of her strongest cards

North Korea declares medium-range missile ready for deployment

North Korea declares medium-range missile ready for deployment

AFP, Seoul :North Korea on Monday declared its medium-range Pukguksong-2 missile ready for deployment after a weekend test, the latest step in its quest to defy UN sanctions and