At least 68 children among 126 killed’ in bus bombing


Siriya-Bus_17_04_2017

At least 68 children were among 126 people killed in Saturday’s bomb attack on buses carrying evacuees from besieged Syrian towns, activists say.

A vehicle filled with explosives hit the convoy near Aleppo.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 109 evacuees from government-held towns were killed, along with aid workers and rebel soldiers.

Many more were injured in the attack, the group said.

The explosion shattered buses and set cars on fire, leaving a trail of bodies, as the convoy waited in rebel territory near Aleppo.

Separately, several people, mostly children, are reported to have been injured by shelling in the capital, Damascus.

At least three shells landed near the central Umayyad Square, state and pro-government media outlets reported. State TV blamed “terrorists”.

The evacuees attacked on Saturday were being moved from Foah and Kefraya, mostly Shia Muslim government-held towns which have been encircled by rebels and al-Qaeda-linked Sunni jihadists since March 2015.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bus attack.

In his Easter Sunday address, Pope Francis called the bombing a “vile attack on fleeing refugees”.

“May [God] sustain the efforts of those who are actively working to bring comfort and relief to the civilian population in beloved Syria, who are greatly suffering from a war that does not cease to sow horror and death,” he said.

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