Evacuations from besieged towns of Syria completed

 16 Apr 2017 - 15:34

Evacuations from besieged towns of Syria completed
File Photo: Reuters.

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ALEPPO, Syria/ANKARA: The process of evacuating thousands of civilians and fighters from besieged parts of Syria -- in line with an earlier agreement between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and opposition forces -- was completed late Saturday, according to Anadolu Agency correspondents on the ground.

Buses carrying around 5,000 people from the opposition-held villages of Fuah and Kafriya in Idlib province reached central Aleppo, the correspondents said.

Another convoy, carrying some 2,350 civilians and fighters from the regime-besieged Madaya and Al-Zabadani towns in Damascus reached Idlib, they added.

The exchange agreement, hammered out between the Assad regime and opposition forces on March 30, called for the evacuation of thousands of civilians and fighters from besieged parts of Syria.

The process was interrupted by Saturday's blast in southern Aleppo which hit buses ferrying Syrians evacuated from two besieged regime-held towns, killing more than 100 people.

United Nations on Saturday condemned the attack in Rashidin area in Aleppo's outskirts, calling on the two sides to ensure the security of the people waiting to be evacuated.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, as many as 400,000 people are estimated to have been killed -- and millions more displaced -- as a result of the conflict, according to UN officials.