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Observers: At least 126 dead in Syrian evacuee convoy bombing

By
Ben Hooper
Human rights observers said at least 112 people were killed Saturday in a suicide bombing targeting a bus convoy carrying evacuees from rebel-besieged towns. The buses were carrying the evacuees from the towns of Kefraya and al-Foua'a towns to the al-Rashideen area near Aleppo. Photo by TIQAH NEWS AGENCY/EPA
Human rights observers said at least 112 people were killed Saturday in a suicide bombing targeting a bus convoy carrying evacuees from rebel-besieged towns. The buses were carrying the evacuees from the towns of Kefraya and al-Foua'a towns to the al-Rashideen area near Aleppo. Photo by TIQAH NEWS AGENCY/EPA

April 16 (UPI) -- Human rights monitors from Syria said Sunday the death toll from the bombing targeting evacuees leaving two Syrian towns has risen to 126.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 126 people were killed as a result of the Saturday bombing, which targeted a convoy of buses carrying evacuees from two towns held by President Bashar al-Assad's regime that have recently been under siege by rebel fighters.

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The group said earlier Sunday that at least 112 people had been killed in the bombing in the Aleppo suburb of Rashidin.

The explosion reportedly occurred toward the front of the 70-bus convoy.

The evacuees, from the Shia villages of Al-Fu'ah and Kafriy, were being taken to regime-held towns as part of an agreement between the warring factions. People were also being evacuated at the same time from two rebel-held towns as part of the "Four Towns Agreement" between the regime and the rebels.

The undamaged buses from the convoy continued Saturday and arrived in the evening at a temporary housing center in the Jebrin area of Aleppo.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the blast, which the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said occurred when a suicide bomber who claimed to be carrying food items detonated and explosive device at a fuel station.

Rebel group Ahrar al-Sham said members observing the convoy to ensure its safe passage were among those killed in the bombing. The group said it is investigating the blast to try to determine who was responsible.

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