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Saturday, 15 April 2017

Save the Children strongly condemns today’s appalling attack on buses of civilians being evacuated from the besieged towns of Foua and Kefraya in northwest Syria. Tens of people, including children, are reported to have been killed.

Sonia Khush, Save the Children’s Syria Director, said: “People have been living in horrific conditions under siege for nearly two years, and have now been attacked as soon as they are finally allowed out. All sides in this conflict continue to attack civilians with impunity, and once again this has had devastating and deadly consequences for children and their families. Civilians must never be targeted.”

The attack occurred during the evacuation of thousands of people from four besieged towns – the government-held towns of Foua and Kefraya and the opposition-held towns of Madaya and Zabadani. During the sieges, vital aid such as food and medicine has been blocked from entering for months at a time, and children have died from starvation, bombing and sniper fire.

Save the Children is calling for all parties to the conflict to ensure that the remaining evacuees are fully protected and assured of safe passage.

There are still more than 650,000 people living in areas under siege in Syria, as well as nearly 4 million more living in areas classified as ‘hard to reach’ and inaccessible to humanitarian agencies. Despite repeated pledges to increase aid access, more than 90% of the people in these areas have not been permitted to receive a single aid convoy so far in 2017.