Syrian rebels announced a new evacuation deal for Aleppo civilians and the injured, after shelling and air strikes sent terrified residents running through the city’s streets.
However a source close to Syria’s government denied the development, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said hostilities were ongoing after an earlier agreement collapsed.
Under the initial plan, thousands of civilians and rebel fighters were due early Wednesday to evacuate the east of Syria’s second city, scene of some of the worst violence in more than five years of war across the country.
But cold and hungry civilians who had gathered before dawn to leave were instead plunged back into a familiar nightmare.
“Bombing is ongoing, no one can move. Everyone is hiding and terrified,” activist Mohammad al-Khatib told AFP from inside east Aleppo.
“The wounded and dead are lying in the street. No one dares to try and retrieve the bodies.”
Officials from the Nureddin al-Zinki and the hardline Ahrar al-Sham rebel groups confirmed to AFP that a new truce deal had come into effect after hours of violence Wednesday.