Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Syria evacuees arrive in shelter near Aleppo

Syria evacuees arrive in shelter near Aleppo

The worldwide community has denounced a deadly vehicle bombing that killed 126 people of a convoy of Shiite evacuees in northern Syria.

A auto bomb has blasted a convoy of coaches carrying evacuees from government-held towns near Aleppo in Syria, reportedly killing 16 people.

Those killed were mostly residents of the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province, but included rebel fighters guarding the convoy, said the monitoring group.

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

The participants condemned "this terrorist and cowardly deed", according to the agency.

Elsewhere in the statement, the ministry said that some countries that claimed they supported human rights showed that their policies were aimed at more killings and destruction when they refused to condemn the deadly bus attack as a crime against humanity.

The U.S. embassy in Syria tweeted, "The United States strongly condemns today's barbaric attacks against innocent civilians, including women & children, in northern Syria".

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed strong condemnation of "the criminal terrorist act".

The secretary-general recalled that the evacuations in those conflict-affected Syrian zones followed an agreement that also envisaged the way out of civilians from Madaya and Zabadani.

The agreement is the latest in a string of evacuation deals which the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said are the best way to end the violence after more than six years of civil war.

Food was distributed after several hours and by early afternoon the evacuees from rebel-held areas were "pressured" to sit back on their buses, Afandar said.

The evacuation deal had been brokered by Qatar, a supporter of Syrian opposition forces, and Iran, a key government ally.

A second phase of evacuations from the government-held towns is expected in a few months' time, it said.

The convoy has since arrived in government-held territory.

CNN reports that workers try to put out a fire at the site of Saturday's bombing of an evacuee convoy in Rashidin, Syria.

Government evacuees had been waiting under rebel guard when the bomb went off.

The attack on a convoy of civilians fleeing the besieged towns of al-Foua and Kfraya, outside Aleppo, marked a "new horror that must break the heart of anyone who has one", said Anthony Lake, UNICEF's executive director.

It's the same with Madaya and Zabadani, as the army entered Madaya on Friday following the evacuation of the first batch of rebels and their families.

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