Mass evacuation in Syria to proceed after deadly blast

Omar haj kadour

The death toll from a bomb attack on a crowded bus convoy outside Aleppo has reached at least 126 in the deadliest such incident in Syria in nearly a year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Sunday.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV said 3,000 people were to be evacuated from Foua and Kfarya, while 200, the vast majority of them fighters, were to be evacuated from Zabadani and Madaya.

The global community has denounced a deadly auto bombing that killed 126 people of a convoy of Shiite evacuees in northern Syria. White Helmets member Ibrahim Alhaj said the 100 fatalities documented by the rescuers included many children and women, as well as fighters.

On Sunday, residents and local officials in government-controlled Aleppo held a massive rally protesting the bombing, Syria's state news agency reported. Other footage showed ambulances ferrying the wounded to area hospitals.

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.

Residents of al-Foua and Kefraya, the Shiite villages, were waiting in the Rashidin area.

The auto bombing in Rashid on Saturday hit government supporters who had been stranded on buses on the edge of Aleppo city for more than 30 hours. They were to be transported to Idlib province, which the armed opposition controls.

At least 20 opposition fighters who were guarding the buses were also killed.

The reasons for the delay were not immediately clear.

"They were residents of two besieged Shia minority villages, who'd been besieged by rebels for years".

Numerous residents still waiting for evacuation now fear reprisal attacks.

"After Aleppo I'll see what the rest of the group is doing, if there are any preparations".

Body parts and the belongings of evacuees were still strewn at the scene of the attack yesterday.

"There's no drinking water or food". "The bus garage is small so there's not much space to move around".

Lake urged not only for regret, but for action to ensure that the war ends soon, saying, "We must draw from this not only anger, but renewed determination to reach all the innocent children throughout Syria with help and comfort".

Afandar said people were not allowed to leave the buses for a while before they were let out. Assad's Alawite religious minority is often considered an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

Syria's conflict involves many groups, including those with links to terrorism such as al-Qaida.

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