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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, March 17, 2018


Convoy of coaches carrying evacuees from besieged Syrian towns hit by huge explosion, scores killed

Over 100 people dead

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ALEPPO, Syria - Buses carrying people that were evacuated from a besieged government-held town in war-torn Syria were struck by an explosion, that ripped through the area, leaving over 100 people dead. > BNN

Syrian state television earlier reported that 39 people had been killed after the car bomb struck at the checkpoint in the Rashideen area, a rebel-controlled district outside Aleppo, where the handover was due to take place.

The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that a suicide bomber driving a van supposedly carrying aid supplies blew the car bomb near the coaches.

Later, the White Helmets rescue group said that its volunteers had recovered more than 100 bodies from the wreckage.

It added that another 55 people were injured in the attack. 

Those killed in the attack included civilians as well as rebel fighters. 

Videos shown on Syrian state TV had bodies strewn across the road and burnt vehicles that still had passengers’ possessions within.

It said that as part of the population transfer deal brokered by regional powers, the convoy of coaches had left Fouaa town on Friday.

The town and the neighbouring Kefraya town have relied on government airdrops since rebel forces cut supply lines. 

This was the first stage of the population swap deal between rebel and government-held areas. 

The "Four Towns" deal was being overseen by Qatar and Iran with negligible involvement by the Syrian government. 

and included Fouaa and Kefraya in the north-west which are under government control and rebel-held Madaya and Zabadani near Damascus.

While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, experts believe that the attack will have huge implications on the complex deal that was struck after two years of negotiations. 

Further, it also throws the future of about 30,000 Syrians spread across four towns into uncertainty. 

A total of 20,000 besieged people would be taken out in all as part of the deal and reports stated that on Sunday, up to 5,000 government evacuees and 2,200 from rebel towns were stranded in transit.


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