Thursday, April 19, 2018 | ePaper

Syrian evacuees stuck at site of deadly bombing

  • Print
AFP :
Hundreds of frightened Syrians being evacuated from besieged towns were stuck Thursday at a rebel-held transit point where more than 120 of their fellow townspeople were killed in a weekend bombing.
The 3,000 evacuees left their homes in the government-controlled towns of Fuaa and Kafraya at dawn on Wednesday as part of a deal that is also seeing residents and fighters transported out of several rebel areas surrounded by government forces.
The evacuations began last week but were delayed after Saturday's suicide car bombing, which saw 126 people killed, 68 of them children, at the transit point in Rashidin, west of Aleppo.
They resumed on Wednesday but evacuees were forced to spend the night in buses at the marshalling area following another delay. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the latest delay was the result of an 11th-hour rebel demand for the release of prisoners held by President Bashar al-Assad's government.
"The convoys will not move until after the release of 750 prisoners-men and women-from regime prisons and their arrival in rebel-held areas," the British-based monitoring group said.
On Thursday, an AFP correspondent saw the evacuees gathered together at the transit point, surrounded by armed rebels, as children played near the waiting buses.
Umm Sanad, a 50-year-old woman from Fuaa, said they had overcome their fear to join the evacuation.
"We left because of the siege and the rockets. We left even though we were afraid after the attack," said Sanad, who evacuated along her  
teenaged sons. The rebel fighters were keeping all other cars away from the area, except for a Red Crescent vehicle that was allowed to distribute aid.
Saturday's attack was one of the deadliest since the start of Syria's six-year civil war and was widely condemned for targeting civilians. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing. The government blamed "terrorists"-a catch-all term for its opponents. The current evacuations mark the end of the first stage of a deal brokered by regime ally Iran and Qatar, a longtime supporter of rebel groups battling Assad's forces.
Shiite-dominated Iran has repeatedly raised concerns for the mainly Shiite residents of Fuaa and Kafraya, who are surrounded by Sunni rebels and Islamists who control the surrounding Idlib province.
Under the agreement, residents and rebel fighters are being evacuated from the towns of Madaya, Zabadani, and other nearby oppositions-held areas close to Damascus. On Wednesday, 11 buses carrying around 300 people left Zabadani and two other rebel-held areas around Damascus.
They were being held up on Thursday at a staging point at Ramussa in government-held territory, the Observatory said. When the current phase of evacuations is complete, a total of 8,000 people should have left Fuaa and Kafraya in exchange for 2,500 civilians and rebels from opposition areas.
A second phase of the evacuations-which in all will see up to 30,000 people transferred from their homes-is to begin in June.

More News For this Category

UK accuses 'reckless Russia' of breaking chemical arms ban

UK accuses 'reckless Russia' of breaking chemical arms ban

AFP :Britain accused Russia on Wednesday of breaking the two-decade international ban on chemical weapons at emergency talks into last month's poisoning with a nerve agent of a former

3 'JMB men' held in N'ganj

UNB, Narayanganj :Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested three alleged members of banned Islamic outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Bandar area here on Tuesday night.The identities of the

A vast tract of crop land was damaged as the hail storm lashes the Naldanga Upazila in Natore district on Tuesday night.

A vast tract of crop land was damaged as the hail storm lashes the Naldanga Upazila in Natore district on Tuesday night.

.

6 JMB women among 7 held in Rajshahi

banglanews24.com :Police conducted drives in different areas of Godagari upazila of Rajshahi and detained seven members of banned militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Wednesday.Of the detainees, six are female.

Father, daughter killed in road crash

UNB, Bagerhat :A man and his minor daughter were killed while his wife sustained injuries when a bus hit his motorbike on Bagerhat-Khulna highway at Kathaltala in Fakirhat upazila

Global leaders seek to fight against deadly Malaria

Reuters, London :Renewed action and boosted funding to fight malaria could prevent 350 million cases of the disease in the next five years and save 650,000 lives across commonwealth

UAE to recruit Bangladeshis in 19 categories

BSS, Dhaka :The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will recruit Bangladeshi nationals in 19 categories through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).Bangladesh and the UAE yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding

2 more private varsities okayed

Staff Reporter :The government has approved setting up of two new private universities.With these the number of private universities in Bangladesh will rise to 99.The approval has been given

Over 300 sentenced to death in Iraq for ISIS links

AFP, Baghdad :Iraqi courts have sentenced to death a total of more than 300 people, including dozens of foreigners, for belonging to the Islamic State group, judicial sources said

Barbara Bush, wife and mother of US presidents dies

Barbara Bush, wife and mother of US presidents dies

Reuters :Former U.S. first lady Barbara Bush, the only woman to see her husband and son both sworn in as president, died on Tuesday, the Bush family said. She