- Title: U.N. says Aleppo bus convoy bomb attack "likely a war crime"
- Date: 18th April 2017
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (APRIL 18, 2017) (REUTERS) UNITED NATIONS BUILDING U.N. BRIEFING ONGOING U.N. STAFF AND JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY SPOKESMAN, RUPERT COLVILLE, SAYING: "It is an attack which most likely amounts to a war crime. While at this stage we are unable to confirm how it was carried out, or who those responsible are, footage seen by our staff in the region showed children gathering round the person who is giving out sweets, just prior to the explosion." UNICEF SPOKESMAN, CHRISTOPHE BOULIERAC, U.N. SPOKESMAN, RHEAL LEBLANC, AND COLVILLE DURING BRIEFING JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY SPOKESMAN, RUPERT COLVILLE, SAYING: "We have been able to confirm that some of the injured civilians are, remain missing, some are believed to have been taken by armed opposition groups to opposition-controlled hospitals in Idlib governorate, and obviously, due to their perceived sympathies for the government of Syria, their families are very concerned for their safety, and so are we. We are also highly concerned for the well-being of any remaining civilians in Foua and Kefraya, as well as the well-being of civilians in the two other towns that are part of the four-town's agreement, namely Madaya and Zabadani." JOURNALISTS (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS AGENCY SPOKESMAN, RUPERT COLVILLE, SAYING: "This attack so soon after the Khan Sheikhoun attack where over 88 civilians were killed, including at least 28 children, is another example of civilians paying the highest cost in this terrible, long-lasting war. The high number of civilian casualties is a clear indication of the violation of the laws of armed conflict which require parties to spare the civilian population at all times. And the number of children reported being killed is particularly abhorrent." UNITED NATIONS BUILDING
- Embargoed: 2nd May 2017 11:33
- Keywords: United Nations Syria displaced attack Rupert Colville children human rights war crime
- Location: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Government/Politics,United Nations
- Reuters ID: LVA0016CXEI4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A bomb attack on a crowded bus convoy outside Aleppo in which more than 120 people including dozens of children were killed "likely amounted to a war crime, U.N. Human Rights Agency spokesman Rupert Colville said on Tuesday (April 18).
The convoy carried residents from the besieged Syrian towns of al-Foua and Kefraya to government-controlled areas near Rashideen under an evacuation deal between the warring sides.
Known as the four-town agreement, the deal allowed 5,000 al-Foua residents who are loyalists to the Syrian government but besieged by an armed opposition group in Idlib province to leave.
In exchange, 2,000 Sunni residents and rebel fighters from the government-besieged town of Madaya near Madascus were given safe passage out and bussed to Idlib province, a rebel stronghold, via Aleppo.
But as the al-Foua bus waited at a transit point miles outside Aleppo, a bomb attack hit the convoy. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which pro-Damascus media said was carried out by a suicide car bomber.
The death toll has reached at least 126 in the deadliest such incident in Syria in almost a year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said. The Observatory and the UN cited reports that more than 60 children were among the dead.
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