2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing

2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Aleppo in Syria (+Golan).svg
Location Rashideen District, western Aleppo, Syria
Coordinates 36°10′10″N 37°03′24″E / 36°10′10″N 37°03′24″E / 36.16944; 37.05667
Date 15 April 2017
Weapons Car bomb
Deaths 126+ [1]
Non-fatal injuries
55+
Perpetrator Unknown

On 15 April 2017, a car bomb detonated near a convoy of buses in the al-Rashideen neighbourhood of western Aleppo, Syria. [2] The buses carried civilian evacuees from the besieged government-controlled towns of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya and were guarded by rebel fighters. [3] The bombing killed at least 126 people [4] including at least 80 children. [5]

The bus evacuation was part of an agreement brokered by the Syrian government, Iran, and Qatar, and implemented by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. [6] Under the terms of the evacuation deal, residents of the Shia communities of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya, which supported the Syrian government [7] and were surrounded by the Army of Conquest, [8] would be transported to Aleppo. [6] In return, residents of Madaya and Al-Zabadani, which are Sunni-majority and support the opposition, would be transported to the Idlib province. [6]

Bombing

Carnage after the suicide bombing
Witnesses narrations of the bombing

The attack took place in the Rashideen district, in the western outskirts of the city of Aleppo, at about 15:30 local time. [9] According to journalists, the bomb was in a car that parked and began distributing crisps to attract children. [10] This car was near the front of a convoy of buses that were stopped at a checkpoint to move injured refugees. [9] [11]

Early reports indicated that a few dozen people had been killed, [12] but the confirmed death toll rose to 126 by the following day, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. [9] The Observatory said that 109 of the dead were refugees, including 68 children, with the remainder rebel fighters and aid workers, [9] though a spokesman for the Ahrar al-Sham rebel group said that about 30 of its members were killed. [13] According to the White Helmets civil defense group, 55 people were injured. [14]

The bombing led to the suspension of evacuations for several days; they resumed on 19 April with tight security at the Rashideen checkpoint. [15] Three days after the bombing, a United Nations spokesperson said that the bombing was "likely a war crime" and a person of interest seen in footage prior to the bombing is being investigated. [16]