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Syria evacuees on move again after 48-hour delay: monitor

Syria evacuees on move again after 48-hour delay: monitor

Hundreds of frightened Syrian evacuees were on the move again Friday after being blocked for 48 hours at a transit point where a bomber killed dozens of their fellow townspeople, a monitor said.

Ten of the 45 buses carrying civilians and loyalist fighters from the besieged government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya left the marshalling area in rebel-held Rashidin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

All of the 11 buses evacuating civilians and fighters from Zabadani and two other rebel-held areas around Damascus were also on the move, the Britain-based monitoring group added.

The buses from Fuaa and Kafraya entered second city Aleppo, under full government control since December, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The buses from Zabadani and surrounding areas entered rebel-held Idlib province in the northwest.

A total of 3,000 evacuees left their homes in Fuaa and Kafraya at dawn on Wednesday as part of a deal under which residents and fighters are also being evacuated from the rebel-held areas surrounded by government forces.

But the evacuees were forced to spend two nights in their buses at the marshalling area following an 11th-hour rebel demand for the release of prisoners held by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The evacuations began last week but were delayed after Saturday’s suicide car bombing killed 126 people, 68 of them children, at the transit point in Rashidin.

–AFP