For Immediate Release

March 30, 2016

Washington, D.C.- Three boys – two brothers, Ali Othman Dalati, 6, and Mohamad Wassim Dalati, 7, and their friend Yusef Mohamad Ammar, 7 – died this morning when a landmine exploded in Bukkin, a small town northern of Madaya. They were heading home from school.

About 150 meters from a Hezbollah checkpoint and 100 meters from a nearby residential area, the three boys stumbled upon a foreign object, thinking it was a food can or a toy. According to an eyewitness, a man walked by and saw the boys carrying the object. He panicked. The boys got scared and dropped the explosive. Within seconds, it exploded, killing Ammar immediately.

The two brothers were evacuated to a makeshift hospital in Madaya. The older brother, Mohammad, died two hours later from extreme head and leg injuries. The younger brother, Ali, died seven hours later from severe head and abdominal injuries.

According to an eyewitness, both Mohamed and Ali could have been saved if they were evacuated in time to Damascus. However, SARC was not able to evacuate the boys because there was no one in need of evacuation from Fuaa and Kafraya. After the “four towns” ceasefire agreement negotiated in September 2015, covering Zabadani, Madaya, Kafraya, and Fuaa, evacuations and aid convoy entries have taken place in both the Idlib and Rural Damascus areas concurrently.

“Oh my God, Wassim lost his legs, but at least he will live,” said Mohamad’s mom when she saw her son laying on the hospital bed.

Their father insisted on burying Ali, his 6-year-old son last, and be the last person to touch him.


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