Beirut, Apr 16: A deadly explosion killed at least 100 persons including children being evacuated in buses from Syria on Saturday. However, AP reported that the evacuation began after some time on the same day from the evacuation point where the explosion occurred.
The explosion damaged buses at al-Rashideen area where thousands of government loyalists were evacuated were waiting for their buses. Only meters away, hundreds of evacuees from pro-rebels areas also loitered in a walled-off parking lot, guarded by government troops.
Television footage on the incident showed bodies lying alongside the buses, some of which completely burnt from the blast. Personal belongings of the people were strewn over the area.
Earlier this month, over 89 people were killed in a chemical weapon attack in Syria where children foaming at the mouth and adults struggling to breathe were caught on the camera.
The bloody mayhem that followed the Saturday attack only deepened the resentment of the transfer criticized as population engineering.
It also reflected the chaos surrounding negotiations between the warring parties. The United Nations did not oversee the transfer deal of the villages of Foua and Kfraya, besieged by the rebels, and Madaya and Zabadani, encircled by the government.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack but pro-government media and the opposition exchanged accusations, each pointing to foreign interference or conspiracies undermining the deal.
The explosion hit the al-Rashideen area, a rebel-controlled district outside Aleppo city where evacuation buses carrying nearly 5,000 people from the northern rebel-besieged villages of Foua and Kfraya were stuck. Residents from the two villages had been evacuated Friday, along with more than 2,000 from Madaya, an opposition-held town outside of Damascus besieged by government forces.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned the attack on Saturday in a statement from his spokesman Stephane Dujarric, and called on all parties “to ensure the safety and security of those waiting to be evacuated.”
“Those responsible for today’s attack must be brought to justice,” the statement added.