Syria: 100 killed as bomb hits buses with evacuees
Syria: 100 killed as bomb hits buses with evacuees
16 Abril, 2017, 10:43
State television said the vehicle bombing had been carried out by "terrorist groups", a term the regime applies to all armed opposition groups.
In return, residents of Madaya and Zabadani, living in government-held outskirts of Damascus, were to be transferred to Idlib province.
Ahrar al-Sham group is the main negotiator with the government and its allies of the widely criticized evacuation deal that transferred thousands of government and opposition supporters from four besieged areas.
Critics say the string of evacuations, which could see some 30,000 people moved across battle lines over the next 60 days, amounts to forced displacement along political and sectarian lines.
It was unclear who carried out Saturday's bombing attack. A statement from the spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary-General said: "The evacuations were being conducted in accordance with the agreement reached pursuant to the Four Towns agreement".
Those killed included civilians as well as rebel fighters. But as the government and rebels disagreed over the number of gunmen to be evacuated, the buses were left stuck at two separate parts, but adjacent parts of the city. No one has any quick answers on how to rebuild Aleppo, Syria's largest city, much less the rest of a country that has seen appalling desolation.
"The situation is disastrous", said Ahmed Afandar, a resident evacuated from the opposition area near Madaya.
"There's no drinking water or food".
"We express our condolences to the families of the victims of the incident and wish those injured a speedy recovery", he said. The Syrian American Medical Society said in a statement: "This forced displacement is a clear violation of worldwide humanitarian law, and marks yet another sad chapter in the history of this crisis".
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.
"There was no other choice in the end - we were besieged inside a small area in Madaya".
Syria's population is mostly Sunni.
He has been backed militarily by Russian Federation, and by Shi'ite fighters from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah group in Syria's six-year-old conflict.
The regime has retaken several key rebel strongholds including eastern Aleppo since a Russian military intervention in September 2015.
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