Sábado, 21 Julio, 2018

Over 100 killed during Syria's troubled population transfer

Irune Rengel | 16 Abril, 2017, 10:49

Syrian rescue workers volunteering as first responders in rebel-controlled areas say at least 100 people were killed and 55 injured in a auto bomb explosion that ripped through a makeshift bus depot in Aleppo province where evacuees were waiting to be transported to government-held areas.

Dozens of others were injured in the blast near buses being used for the evacuation outside the northern city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. A war monitor puts the death toll at 24 in the area controlled by opposition fighters.

While casualty figures for Saturday's incident have not appeared, Turkish officials in the southern border province of Hatay said 19 injured people had been taken to hospitals in Turkey.

Syrian state media said at least 39 were killed, including children.

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The agency said that "terrorists" - a reference to rebels - had loaded the booby-trapped auto with food items for children and parked it near the evacuation buses in Aleppo's suburb of al-Rashedeen.

The operation to transfer the evacuees resumed after a brief halt, the observatory said.

This frame grab from video provided by the Thiqa News Agency, shows rebel gunmen at the site of a blast that damaged several buses and vans at the Rashideen area, a rebel-controlled district outside Aleppo city, Syria, Saturday, April. Only meters away, hundreds of evacuees from pro-rebels areas also loitered in a walled-off parking lot, guarded by government troops.

SANA reported that buses carrying people from Foua and Kefraya had already begun arriving in Aleppo's Jebrin area, where the government has set up a temporary housing centre for them.

It was not immediately clear how the dispute had been resolved. They were evacuated Friday, along with more than 2,000 from Madaya, a town outside of Damascus which was besieged by government forces.

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In return, government supporters - mainly Shiites - who live in Foua and Kefraya would be moved to government-held areas. In footage aired on Syrian TV, bodies were strewn outside buses, including fighters.

Madaya and Zabadani have been under the control of anti-government fighters but facing siege from forces loyal to the regime.

Allison further points out that the deal has been controversial and subject to accusations of forcing demographic change.

More than 400,000 people have been killed and millions more displaced since the Syrian conflict erupted with protests against Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad in March 2011.

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