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Fuaa and Kafraya

Gunmen attack buses sent to evacuate Syria pro-regime villages

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one bus driver was killed in the attack.

Updated at 8.40pm 

EVACUATIONS OF FIGHTERS and civilians from the devastated Syrian city of Aleppo were postponed until further notice tonight after gunmen attacked buses for a similar operation from two rebel-besieged villages.

The development came as Syria ally Russia warned it would veto a French-drafted resolution at the Security Council on sending UN observers to Aleppo and submitted a counter draft resolution.

Diplomats said the Security Council vote would take place tomorrow.

Dozens of buses had entered the last rebel-held parts of Aleppo today to resume the evacuation of thousands of increasingly desperate trapped Syrian civilians and rebels.

The evacuation was suspended on Friday, a day after convoys of people had begun leaving the rebel sector under a deal allowing the regime to take full control of the battleground city.

The main obstacle to a resumption had been a dispute over how many people would be evacuated in parallel from two Shiite villages, Fuaa and Kafraya, under rebel siege in northwestern Syria.

But just as a deal to go ahead with the evacuations was found and announced by both sides, gunmen attacked buses sent to take people out of Fuaa and Kafraya and torched them, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one bus driver was killed in the attack and that the overall evacuation operation was put on hold.

The Britain-based monitor said security guarantees were needed before they could resume.

Yasser al-Youssef of the Nureddin al-Zinki rebel group confirmed that “the evacuations have been momentarily suspended”.

The Observatory said buses would not leave the rebel areas of Aleppo until residents of Fuaa and Kafraya were also able to leave.

- © AFP, 2016 

Read: Obama blames Russia and Iran for the “horror” in Aleppo

Read: Thousands trapped as Aleppo evacuation suspended

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