ISIS Launches Terror Attack on Shiite Muslims in Syria
A Syrian bus convoy transporting the residents of two villages being evacuated in a deal between warring parties has been hit by a blast on the outskirts of Aleppo, according to SANA news agency. Thirty nine people have been reportedly killed.
The blast was reportedly caused by a suicide attacker detonating a car bomb. Syrian state TV said an unknown number of people had been killed and wounded.
Pictures have emerged on social media purporting to show the aftermath of the blast.
Humanitarian workers were among the victims of the attack, according to Arabic Asharq Al-Awsat.
Very graphic footage from the scene posted online shows burned out vehicles with the dead lying on the ground and inside buses, some covered with blankets.
“A very powerful blast” killed “many women and children” inside the buses, an eyewitness said while filming the video. There were also fighters from the Free Syrian Army and other groups who were securing the area among the victims, he added.
No one knows the exact number of the victims yet, the eyewitness said, claiming that “there are more dead people inside the buses.”
Photos from the scene show bodies near blackened buses with blown out windows.
The bus convoy was transporting up to 5,000 residents from the mostly Shiite villages of Fua and Kefraya.
Terrorists reportedly loaded the car in which they hid the bomb with children’s food supplies to sneak it into the area, SANA reported, citing its correspondent.
Several hours after the attack, the transfer resumed, AP reported, citing Syrian television.
The attack took place on the outskirts of Aleppo in the Rashidin area while the convoy was waiting to enter the city.
The buses were waiting to take people who were evacuated from the two Shiite villages on Friday from rebel-held territory into the government-controlled city.
The residents, along with hundreds of pro-government fighters, had come from the two rebel-besieged villages in northwest Idlib province, Reuters reported. In exchange, hundreds of Sunni insurgents and their families moved out of government-controlled areas near Damascus, Syria’s capital.
However, a delay in the agreement has reportedly left thousands of evacuated people stranded at two transit points on Aleppo’s outskirts since late Friday.