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Syria Today – Six Dead In School Bus Accident

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Six Dead In School Bus Accident

At least six people, most of them children, drowned when a school bus went off the road into a river in northwest Syria on Thursday, emergency responders said.

The bus carrying dozens of children left the road near the city of Darkush, west of Idlib, and plunged into the Orontes River, a local civil defence organization also known as the White Helmets said in a statement.

Rescue teams were searching for survivors in the cliffside and in the river, it said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the bus to go off the road. Images from the scene showed a steep crag overlooking the riverbed where searchers were scrambling over boulders.

It was the latest tragedy to affect an area that has already been hit hard by Syria’s ongoing civil war and by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Turkey and northern Syria last year.

Most of the 5.1 million people living in opposition-held northwest Syria have been internally displaced, sometimes more than once, in the country’s civil war, now in its 14th year, and rely on aid to survive.

Scholz Backs Afghan, Syria Deportations After Policeman Killed

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Thursday that serious criminals should be deported, even if they come from Syria or Afghanistan after an Afghan asylum seeker stabbed a police officer to death.

According to AFP , Scholz also said that glorifying or celebrating acts of terror was “against all our values”, and could in future be punished with deportation.

“Let me be clear: it outrages me when someone who has sought refuge here in our country commits the most serious criminal offences,” he said in an address to parliament.

“Such offenders should be deported — even if they come from Syria or Afghanistan.”

Germany has not been carrying out deportations to Afghanistan since the Taliban retook power in 2021. It also does not deport people to Syria as the country is not considered safe due to a long-running civil war.

A debate over resuming expulsions to Afghanistan in particular has been rekindled after a 25-year-old Afghan went on a knife rampage at an anti-Islam rally in the western city of Mannheim last week.

A police officer, 29, died of his wounds on Sunday after being repeatedly stabbed as he tried to intervene in the attack.

Five people taking part in a rally organized by Pax Europa, a campaign group against radical Islam, were also wounded.

Following the attack, the German interior ministry had already said it was looking into resuming deportations to Afghanistan.

Deportation rules will be tightened so that condoning terrorism can be considered grounds for deportation, he said.

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