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Aleppo evacuation suspended after 24-hour period as blasts reported at departure point

State-run TV station says rebels have breached agreement with Syrian government by taking prisoners with them, according to The Guardian
Aleppo evacuation suspended after 24-hour period as blasts reported at departure point

The evacuation of people from eastern Aleppo has been suspended after a 24-hour period in which an estimated 8,000 people left besieged districts, The Guardian reports.

A source with knowledge of the deal told the Guardian it was suspended over rebel refusal to allow the evacuation of the wounded from Fua and Kefraya, two Shia villages in Idlib province that have been besieged by rebels for years and whose evacuation was part of the agreement reached on Wednesday night after Turkish and Russian mediation.

A state-run TV station meanwhile said rebels had breached an agreement with the government by trying to take prisoners with them during the evacuation.

A Reuters witness reported hearing at least four blasts at a location from where buses had been leaving the Syrian city.

A military news outlet run by Hezbollah, an ally of Damascus, said protesters had blocked a road being used to evacuate fighters and civilians from Aleppo on Friday, demanding the evacuation of people from two Shia villages in Idlib province.

Iran, also an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, has demanded that the villages, Foua and Kefraya, which are besieged by rebels, be included in the ceasefire deal under which rebel fighters and civilians are leaving Aleppo, according to UN officials and rebels.

Photo: AFP.