Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Aleppo bomb attack toll rises to 112

Aleppo bomb attack toll rises to 112

No one claimed responsibility for the explosion, although pro-government media and rebels pointed fingers at each other.

Rescuers say at least 100 people were killed from opposition and government supporters. The group said the attack only serves to deflect the attention from government "crimes" and said it was ready to cooperate with an global probe to determine who did it.

At least 100 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Syria that struck a bus convoy evacuating people from besieged villages, after a deal between Syria's warring sides stalled.

A media unit run by Damascus ally Hezbollah said the attack was carried out by a suicide vehicle bomb and killed at least 40 people.

Evacuees walk near buses before the blast.

Hours after the explosion, the transfer resumed - as dozens of buses, starting with the wounded, left to their respective destinations.

The blast hit buses in the Rashidin area on Aleppo's outskirts.

The coordinated evacuations delivered war-weary fighters and residents from two years of siege and hunger, but moved Syria closer to a division of its national population by loyalty and sect.

The convoy that departed Al-Fu'ah and Kafriya had 5,000 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Only meters away, hundreds of evacuees from pro-rebels areas also loitered in a walled-off parking lot, guarded by government troops.

The much criticized deal is to transfer thousands from besieged pro-government and anti-government areas.

The deals are unpopular with the Syrian opposition, who say they amount to forced displacement of Assad's opponents from Syria's main urban centers in the west of the country.

A number of evacuations could mean as many as 30,000 people will be transferred over the next 60 days in a move that is highly controversial. A war monitor puts the death toll at 24 in the area controlled by opposition fighters. Personal belongings could be seen dangling out of the windows.

However, state media said a "suicide bomber" allegedly used a van meant for carrying aid supplies to enter the area.

On Friday, a convoy of 75 buses arrived in Aleppo, evacuating thousands from the cities under attack.

The buses were evacuating residents of Kefraya and al-Foua villages in accordance with an agreement reached between the Syrian government and foreign-sponsored Takfiri militant groups last month.

The exact reasons for the delay in completing the evacuation deal were also unclear.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported casualties, saying the explosion appeared to be caused by a bomb.

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