The World Council of Churches has "strongly condemned" a car bomb attack on people evacuating to the Syrian city of Aleppo on Saturday which killed more than 100 people, many of them believed to be children.

The bomb exploded amid a parked convoy of buses as they waited on the outskirts of Aleppo to enter the city. The buses were carrying evacuees released from two besieged government-held towns in the country's north under a deal which also saw people evacuated from two rebel-held towns in the country's south. More than 100 evacuees were killed as well as aid workers and rebels guarding the convoy.

Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, WCC general secretary, said the "continuing infernal cycle of such extreme violence" underlined the "urgent need for practical progress towards peace in Syria to end the bloodshed".

“We call upon all involved governments and armed groups to put an immediate end to all use of deadly force and to support and engage with a political process for peace in Syria, for the future of the country and all its people," he said in a statement.

“The WCC expresses its deep sympathy to the families of the victims, and prays that God may grant them comfort and heal their wounds. We also pray for the God of justice and peace to accompany the Syrian people in these critical and painful moments."

Rev Dr Tveit also called on "all Christians and all people of faith around the world to join together in renewed prayer for peace and an end to conflict and bloodshed in Syria."