Death Toll Reaches 118 in Terrorist Attack on Syria Evacuees
DAMASCUS – The death toll in a terrorist attack on buses carrying Syrians evacuated from two government-held towns in the country’s Idlib province has risen to at least 118.
According to Tasnim dispatches, over 118 evacuees from the Shiite-populated towns of Foua and Kefraya were killed when a suicide bomber blew himself off near the buses at a transit point west of Aleppo Saturday.
The number of the injured, which had originally been reported as standing at 40 has now reached at least 224, the report added.
Dozens of the civilians were also kidnapped by the Takfiri militants on Saturday.
Thousands of militants and their families were expected to leave the towns of Zabadani and Madaya near the Lebanese border for Idlib, while thousands of people were supposed to leave Foua and Kefraya for government-held parts of Aleppo province as part of a deal between Damascus and militant groups.
Residents from the two villages had been stuck in and around Aleppo on Saturday as the deal was stalled by militant groups. Later in the day, a bomber blew up an explosive-laden car near the convoy, killing large groups of people, mostly children.
Eventually, around 5,000 residents were transported out of the areas and settled in their new dwellings. Some 3,000 more civilians are still in Foua and Kefraya and are expected to be evacuated soon.
Foua and Kefraya are the only government-held enclave in Idlib’s militant-held area.
The towns of some 20,000 people have been under siege since 2013. The humanitarian situation remains dire, with a lack of food and basic necessities.