Syrian regime halts Aleppo evacuation, says rebels firing on convoys

 12/16/2016 5:35 PM MST

ALEPPO, Syria — The Syrian government suspended evacuations from eastern Aleppo just hours after they resumed on Friday, saying that rebels had opened fire on a convoy of evacuees at a crossing point with the enclave, state TV reported.

An AFP correspondent heard gunfire and explosions in the southern Aleppo neighborhood of Ramussa, a government-held area that evacuees were passing through. Buses and ambulances that had been waiting there to evacuate more people left the area after the gunfire and explosions, the AFP correspondent said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how long the suspension would last or whether it would delay the ceasefire deal under which tens of thousands of residents and rebel fighters are being evacuated to opposition-controlled areas in the surrounding countryside, a process likely to take several days.