Thousands of people have left the rebel-besieged Shi'ite towns of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province under the reciprocal evacuation deal between the government and the militants. Local media reports suggest that 45 buses carrying some 3,000 civilians left the two towns for Aleppo.
The evacuation resumed after a few days of hiatus caused by a terrorist attack that targeted a bus convoy carrying the first batch of people.
More than 118 people were killed and 224 others injured on Saturday after a bomber blew up an explosive-laden car at the site.
The explosion hit the Rashidin area on Aleppo's outskirts. The bus was waiting to enter the city of Aleppo.
Sputnik Arabic was able to talk to the residents of the two towns who spoke about what happened on that fateful day. They begged to lift the blockade and secure the convoys.
Public activist Misaa Aswad was in that convoy and she saw the blast with her own eyes.
"Upon arrival in Rashidin we were kept locked in the bus for 24 hours. We sat motionless and were not let out of it. Only children and elderly people were allowed to leave the bus for 10 minutes to use bathrooms. It was very hot and stuffy in the overcrowded buses," she told Sputnik.
She further recalled how the militants started getting ready for the attack.
"The militants started talking to our children and offering them apples and chocolates. And we were very hungry by then as we had not eaten anything. The terrorists gathered the kids outside and said that soon a car would come with tasty food, fruits and chocolates," she said.
Misaa Aswad said that she was in the last bus and was sitting at the window, so she was able to see everything clearly.
Soon a car with a sign "Food for Dogs" arrived. They started throwing food on the ground. And at this very moment the blast hit the site. 120 people were killed instantly, 285 went missing. Some were later located, because they were taken to hospitals in the cars of the Red Crescent. However those who were taken away in the cars of the militants are still missing.
Not long before the blast, she said, the militants who were in the buses, left them and moved to a safe distance.
"I would like to appeal to the international community through Sputnik to draw attention to the people suffering in Foua and Kefraya. Me and my kids were able to leave it but my husband is still there, that was the condition of the deal. However the militants were also able to leave the city. On the way they were treating us very badly and were abusing us. Before the blast they left the buses. What happened in Rashidin is a tragedy for humanity. We beg you, do not allow our villages to be destroyed. We want to go back home. But to be able to do it, the blockade should be lifted."
"Militants tried to capture our towns five times, but our defense was able to repel these attacks. Thanks to the "four town deal" people are now able to leave them," he said, referring to an agreement between the Syrian government and a number of armed groups that the Syrian army provides secure passage to militants and their family members from Damascus suburbs of al-Zabadani and Madaya into Idlib in exchange for evacuation of civilians from Shi'ite towns of Foua and Kefraya.)
"3,800 people were killed and 5,700 wounded during the siege. When people started gathering near the buses, militants started shooting, killing several women and children and damaging buses," he said.
The lack of clean water was the hardest thing to bear during the siege as the terrorists damaged the major water reservoirs of their settlements, the activist said. There is also not enough fuel and medication. Not enough doctors and other personnel.
Ahmad's wife and children were wounded in the blast. His daughter is sick, she needs qualified aid in Damascus or Beirut. He also begged the parties involved to provide security for the convoys, take people out of these towns and lift the blockade.