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UN: Bombers at Syria transit site ‘disguised’ as aid workers

Medics assist civilians, who were injured on Saturday during a bomb blast that hit a bus convoy of evacuees from the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya, upon their arrival to government-controlled Aleppo on April 19, 2017. — Picture by Sana via Reuters

GENEVA, April 21 — The perpetrators of a bombing in Syria last weekend that killed more than 120 people had disguised themselves as aid workers and may have specifically targeted children, the UN said today.

The victims in the suicide car bombing Saturday at a rebel-held transit point where civilians were being evacuated included 68 children, and scores of others were injured.

“Someone pretending even to distribute aid and attracting the children produced that horrific explosion”, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura told reporters in Geneva.

The head of the UN’s humanitarian taskforce for Syria, Jan Egeland, said at the same news conference that the assailants “disguised as a charity”.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack at the Rashidin transit point west of Aleppo, one of the deadliest episodes since the start of Syria’s six-year civil war.

The blast, which tore through buses carrying civilians, also forced a pause in evacuations from the government-controlled towns of Fuaa and Kafraya.

But the evacuations have resumed armed rebels were guarding civilians at the transit point today, according to AFP photographers at the scene.

Cars were being kept away from the site except for a Red Crescent vehicle that was allowed to distribute aid.

The evacuations are part of a deal between Syria’s ally Iran and Qatar, a longtime supporter of rebel groups battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. — AFP

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