Syrian conflict – at least 43 killed in an attack against evacuees

At least 43 people died in an attack on a bus transporting evacuees from Syrian loyalist areas on Saturday.

It involved a van rigged with explosives. The casualty figures come from the Syrian human rights observatory (SHRO).

“Some of the casualties are succumbing to their injuries and we are finding more bodies”, says the SHRO.

The victims include 38 evacuees from pro-government areas Foua and Kafraya, 4 rebels who were guarding the bus, and one person who has not been identified. The bus was in a transit zone to the West of Alep (North).

As part of an agreement between Qatar, which supports the rebellion, and Iran, which supports Bachar-al-Assad, around 5,000 people from Foua and Kafraya were evacuated. These areas had been under siege from Syrian rebel forces in the Idleb province (North-West) for two years.

At the same time, around 2,200 people from Madaya and Zabadani, rebel towns under siege by Syrain government forces near Damas, were also evacuated as part of this agreement.

However, these people were stuck near Alep and unable to reach their final destination due to disagreements between the opposing parties.

Evacuations were able to start up again on Saturday, said the SHRO.

The organisation said buses transporting residents from rebel and pro-government areas continued their journey to their final destinations. The SHRO has a vast network of sources in war-torn Syria.

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