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Aleppo evacuation suspended amid reports of gunfire

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The evacuation of civilians and fighters from Aleppo’s last rebel-held enclave was suspended on Friday, with the Syrian regime and its opponents accusing each other of breaking the terms of the deal.

A World Health Organization official in the war-ravaged Syrian city said the evacuation had been aborted and that Red Cross and Red Crescent workers had been ordered to leave the area.

It wasn't immediately clear how long the suspension, which was announced within a couple of hours after the evacuations resumed on Friday, would last.


Syrian state TV said the operation had been suspended after rebel fighters opened fire on a convoy at one of the crossing points linking the rebel enclave with government-controlled areas.

Government sources also accused the rebels of blocking the evacuation of civilians from two pro-government villages elsewhere in Syria, agreed under the truce.

But a rebel official and the pro-opposition Orient TV accused Shiite militias loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad of firing on the bus convoys leaving east Aleppo.


An AFP correspondent heard gunfire and explosions in Ramussa, the government-held neighbourhood that evacuees had been passing through.


The delicate operation to evacuate remaining civilians and fighters began on Thursday morning and continued through the night.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said around 8,500 people had left the city, going to rebel-held territory in the west of the province.

According to UN officials, at least 50,000 people are still trapped in the enclave.

The army began an operation to recapture all of Aleppo in mid-November, and had overrun more than 90 percent of the former rebel bastion in the east of the city before the evacuation began.

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Muslim Global: Aleppo evacuation suspended amid reports of gunfire
Aleppo evacuation suspended amid reports of gunfire
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