Buses evacuating the elderly and the wounded in Syria have been torched by militant fighters.
After some initial setbacks with evacuations from the northern city of Aleppo, a new deal was reached between Syria, Russia and Turkey on Sunday (18 December).
Under the deal, people would be evacuated from eastern Aleppo to Idlib province, in return for insurgents allowing safe passage for those in militant-held areas, such as Al Fu'ah and Kafraya, who want to travel to government-held areas.
However, the evacuations from the two villages have now suffered a further blow as insurgent fighters, believed to be Ahrar al-Sham (an Islamist coalition funded by Turkey and Saudi Arabia) and al-Nusra Front (formerly known as al-Qaeda in Syria), attacked buses with evacuees.
Those factions oppose Bashar al-Assad's government and are involved in the coalition to overthrow his rule.
Syrian-stated media that five buses were attacked in total, all of which were destroyed.
According to Reuters reports, militant groups in Al Fu'ah and Kafraya opposed the evacuation of people from the areas.
Under the fragile deal, government forces originally said they would allow civilians and fighters to leave eastern Aleppo, only once Shi'ite civilians from the pro-government towns are allowed out.
As a result, the evacuation agreement has been frozen, according to activists in the area.
Local reports suggest buses were moments away from leaving eastern Aleppo, when government officials ordered them to be halted.
Roughly 1,200 people were set to be bussed out of the city, in return for similar numbers from Al Fu'ah and Kafraya.
Due to the setback, it will be civilians – particularly the ill and elderly – who will be worst affected.
One man, who needed medical attention, told Aleppo24 he could not bear the delays any longer.
He said: "I have been trying to cross from the corridor [established in Aleppo] for four days now. Whenever we reach those corridors, they sent us back. This has been happening for four days now.
"They promised us that they will send us ambulances to transport us, however, we have been waiting since the morning.
"I am injured in my back, in addition to my head, which was hit by fragments of an exploded shell. What should I do? I only have Allah."