Syrian TV says dozens killed in blast near evacuation buses south of Aleppo

This frame grab from video provided by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media shows Syrian families gathering to leave in buses from Madaya, an opposition-held town near Damascus, Syria, Friday, April 14, 2017. The Syrian government and rebels began a coordinated population transfer Friday of about 10,000 people from four towns besieged for years amid the country's bloody, six-year civil war. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria TV says at least 39 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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