Attack on evacuees travelling from besieged Syrian towns condemned

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Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stéphane Dujarric. UN Photo/Evan Schneider (file)

An attack on evacuees leaving the Syrian towns of Foah and Kefraya on Saturday which killed dozens, has been condemned by the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General.

More details from Matthew Wells.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary General, said that the bus evacuations of people from Foah and Kefraya were being carried out in line with the so-called Four Towns agreement.

The complex deal includes the rebel-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani, which have been under siege for years, near Damascus.

Around 5,000 evacuees from Foah and Kefraya had reached Rashidin, west of government-controlled Aleppo where they were due to be handed over, when a large bomb detonated, killing more than 100 men, women and children, according to latest news reports.

The evacuees had been delayed at the check point for hours due to disagreements over the numbers of fighters being transported out of besieged areas.

The UN Spokesman called on the parties involved in Syria's six-year civil war to "ensure the safety and security of those waiting to be evacuated."

He added that those responsible for Saturday's attack must be brought to justice, and expressed condolences to the families of the many victims.

News reports indicate that the exchanges of evacuees from both sides resumed late on Saturday.

Pope Francis in his Easter Sunday address, called the bombing at Rashidin "an ignoble attack on fleeing refugees."

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1'07"

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