'Death toll in bomb attack on Syria evacuees hits 43'
At least 43 people were killed on Saturday in a suicide car bomb attack on buses carrying Syrians evacuated from two besieged government-held towns, a monitor said in an updated toll.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said most of the dead were evacuees, but they also included several rebels who had been guarding the buses at a transit point in Rashidin, west of Aleppo.
The explosion took place at the gathering point of buses transporting Shias evacuating from two pro-government towns in northern Syria. It was carried out by a suicide bomber driving a booby-trapped potato truck. The buses carrying 5,000 Shias were waiting the reactivation of a deal designed to secure their transportation to government-controlled area in Aleppo. The deal, reached between the rebels and the government under the supervision of Iran, Turkey and Qatar, was designed to secure the evacuation of the people from the pro-government Shia towns of Kafraya and Foa in Idlib province towards areas in Aleppo province.
In return, the government will allow rebels and their families to leave the rebel-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani in northern Damascus to reach Idlib province. The evacuation started on Friday, with 5,000 Shias leaving Kafaraya and Foa and 2,300 rebels and their families leaving the town of Madaya as first batches, the report said.
The Shias reached the rebel-held town of Rashideen, while the rebels reached the government-controlled Ramouseh crossing in Aleppo.
Both convoys were set to leave to their respective destinations, before the rebels in Rashideen held the convoy of the Shias, adding new demands to the original deal.
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