Iraq News

Dozens of children dead in Syria evacuees bombing

Nearly 70 children were among those killed when a suicide car bombing tore through buses carrying evacuees from besieged regime-held towns in Syria, AFP reported Sunday (April 16th).

Saturday's blast hit a convoy carrying residents from the northern towns of Fuaa and Kafraya as they waited at a transit point in opposition-held Rashidin, west of Aleppo.

At least 68 children were among the 126 people killed in the attack, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, updating a previous toll of 112 dead, and "hundreds" were wounded.

At least 109 of the dead were evacuees, the Observatory said, while the rest were aid workers and opposition fighters guarding the convoy.

The Syrian Red Crescent said three of its workers were among the wounded.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.

The evacuations were taking place under a deal between Syria's regime and opposition that is also seeing residents and opposition fighters transported out of Madaya and Zabadani, towns near Damascus under regime siege.

More than 5,000 people left Fuaa and Kafraya and about 2,200 left Madaya and Zabadani on Friday.

The evacuation process resumed after the bombing, the Observatory said, with the residents of Fuaa and Kafraya eventually arriving in Aleppo.

The residents and opposition fighters from Madaya and Zabadani arrived late Saturday in opposition-held areas of Idlib province, where they were greeted with embraces and shots fired into the air.

It was not immediately clear whether further evacuations were taking place on Sunday.

UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien condemned the "monstrous and cowardly attack".

Pope Francis urged an end to the war as he presided over the traditional Easter mass in Rome.

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