The death toll from a bomb blast on a crowded Syrian bus convoy outside Aleppo has reached at least 112 people, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
Syrian rescue workers the Civil Defence said they had carted away at least 100 bodies from the site of Saturday’s blast, which hit buses carrying Shi’ite residents as they waited to cross from rebel into government territory in an evacuation deal between warring sides.
The British-based Observatory reported its new toll early on Sunday and said the number was expected to rise.
Those killed were mostly residents of the villages of al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province, but included rebel fighters guarding the convoy, the Observatory said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which pro-Damascus media said was carried out by a suicide car bomber.
The convoy was carrying at least 5,000 people including civilians and several hundred pro-government fighters, who were granted safe passage out of the two Shi’ite villages which are besieged by rebels.
Under the evacuation deal, more than 2,000 people including rebel fighters were granted safe passage out of Madaya, a town near Damascus besieged by government forces and their allies.
That convoy was waiting at a bus garage in a government-held area on Aleppo’s outskirts, a few kilometres from where the attack took place. Madaya evacuees said they heard the blast.
Meanwhile the evacuation of rebel fighters and their families from a neighbourhood in the central Syrian city of Homs has been delayed following the Aleppo attack.
The Observatory said the fifth phase of the rebel evacuation from al-Waer neighbourhood, the only district in Homs city that still has insurgents, was set to take place on Sunday.
The monitor expected the evacuation process in al-Waer to resume on Monday.