Wednesday, October 18, 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

US official not ruling out eventual direct talks with N Korea

US official not ruling out eventual direct talks with N Korea

Reuters, Tokyo :The United States is not ruling out the eventual possibility of direct talks with North Korea, Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan said on Tuesday, hours after

US 'not taking sides' between Iraqi forces, Kurds: Trump

US 'not taking sides' between Iraqi forces, Kurds: Trump

Washington is "not taking sides" following clashes between Iraqi forces and the country's Kurds, US President Donald Trump said Monday, as tensions escalate following the autonomous Kurdish region's independence referendum.Speaking

Catalonia braces for protests as key separatists held

Catalonia braces for protests as key separatists held

AFP, Barcelona :Catalonia braced for protests Tuesday after a judge ordered the detention of two powerful separatist leaders, further inflaming tensions in the crisis over the Spanish region's chaotic independence

Philippine President declares Marawi liberated as battle goes on

Reuters, Manila :Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared the southern city of Marawi liberated from pro-Islamic State militants on Tuesday, although the military said 20-30 rebels were holding about 20 hostages

US-backed forces take Raqa hospital from IS holdouts

US-backed forces take Raqa hospital from IS holdouts

AFP, Raqa :US-backed forces said Tuesday they had retaken the main hospital in Syria's Raqa from the Islamic State group, leaving the jihadists to make a last stand around the

News In Brief

British, US authors vie for Man Booker PrizeAFP, LondonThree British and three US authors will on Tuesday discover which one of them is the winner of this year's Man Booker

Spain gives final call for Catalan independence decision

Spain gives final call for Catalan independence decision

AFP :Responding to an initial deadline set by the central government, Carles Puigdemont sent a letter early Monday calling for talks with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy "as soon as

EU vows to save Iran deal, fears for North Korea mediation

Reuters, Luxembourg :The European Union vowed on Monday to defend a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and urged U.S. lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions after President

Iraqi forces seize territory from Kurds in independence dispute

Iraqi forces seize territory from Kurds in independence dispute

AFP :Iraqi forces seized a key military base, an airport and an oil field from Kurdish fighters Monday in disputed Kirkuk province in a major operation sparked by a

Somalia blast: Death toll rises to 276

BBC Online :At least 276 people are now known to have died in a massive bomb attack in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday.A Turkish