The Latest: Car bomb strikes near evacuating Syrians
BEIRUT (AP) -- The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):
Syrian state TV says a car bomb has exploded near buses carrying Syrians evacuated from towns besieged by rebels in northern Syria.
State TV and an opposition monitoring group say the car bomb left an undetermined number of people killed. A photo carried by al-Ikhbariya state TV showed a number of bodies strewn on the floor with a huge plume of black smoke rising in the background.
The buses carrying nearly 5,000 pro-government evacuees have been stuck in an area on the edge of Aleppo city, as a much criticized population transfer deal stalls. According to the deal, more than 2,000 residents, activists and gunmen from areas besieged by government forces were also evacuated. But as the government and rebels disagreed over the number of gunmen to be evacuated, the buses were left stuck at two separate parts, but adjacent parts of the city.
Activists and residents say thousands of Syrians evacuated from their besieged towns have spent the night on buses at an exchange point as a much criticized population transfer deal stalls.
Ahmed Afandar, a resident evacuated from his hometown near Madaya, says dozens of buses carrying children, women and men are not allowed to proceed toward rebel-held Idlib as planned. He said it is not clear what hinders the completion of the evacuation.
Rami Abdurrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says the Syrian government and rebels who negotiated the deal have differed over the evacuation of gunmen from the towns.
A resident of Zabadani, another rebel-held town to be evacuated, Amer Burhan says no evacuation has taken place from there.