Syrian TV says dozens killed in blast near evacuation buses

A Syrian man pulls their belongings after he was evacuated with his family from Aleppo, near Idlib, Syria, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016. Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says 7,500 civilians have been evacuated from the Syrian city of Aleppo and that he has reached out to Tehran in a bid to keep the process on track.(AP Photo)

BEIRUT (AP) – Syria TV says at least 22 people were killed in an explosion that hit near evacuation buses in northern Syria. A war monitor puts the death toll at 24 in the area controlled by opposition fighters.

The explosion Saturday hit at an evacuation point south of Aleppo city where dozens of buses have been parked for over 30 hours as a much-criticized population transfer deal stalled.

The state TV channel said the explosion was caused by a car bomb. State TV showed horrific images of bodies strewn on the ground and near buses.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 24 were killed.

A senior rebel official said 20 rebels who guarded the buses were killed as well as dozens of passengers. He spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The government and rebels disagreed over the number of gunmen to be evacuated, leaving the buses stuck.

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