Friday, September 22, 2017 | 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

Tigers declare 306 for 7 wickets

Sports Reporter :Bangladesh declared their first innings making 306 for the loss of seven wickets against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI on the first day of the three-day warm-up

Industrialists want gas links soon

Anisul Islam Noor :The country's businessmen want gas as soon as possible for their industries, no matter whatever its price is. To maintain the country's current pace of the

TUs aware of SOPs on unfair labour practices

UNB, Dhaka :Bangladesh trade unions gain awareness of Standard Operating Procedures about Unfair Labour Practices and Trade Union Registrations. Trade union representatives are now better aware of how Standard

Oklahoma police fatally shoot deaf man fornot responding

Reuters :A deaf man holding a metal pipe was fatally shot by Oklahoma City police who yelled for him to drop his weapon and get on the ground but

JMB operative held in city

JMB operative held in city

Staff Reporter  :The Rapid Action Battalion claimed on Thursday to have arrested an operative of a faction of banned extremist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from the capital's South

Suu Kyi lying about Rohingyas: Nasim

UNB, Dhaka :Health Minister Mohammad Nasim on Thursday said Aung San Suu Kyi, the state counsellor of Myanmar, is deceiving the global community by telling utter lies about Rohingya

Huge illegal fairness injections seized at HSIA

Staff Reporter :Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) on Thursday recovered 214 pieces of import restricted fairness injections worth Tk 5,00,000 from Postal sorting centre of Hazrat Shahjalal International

Holy Ashura on Oct 1

UNB, Dhaka :Holy Ashura, commemorating the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA), will be observed in the country on October 1.The decision was taken at a meeting of the

Abbas urges UN to set timeline for ending Israeli occupation

Irish Times :The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has warned that the "two-state solution is in jeopardy", as he called on the United Nations to "bring an

Imran gets bail in defamation case

Court Correspondent :The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court of Dhaka on Thursday granted bail to Ganajagaran Mancha spokesperson Dr Imran H Sarker and cultural activist Sanatan Ullash after they