Syrian Observatory: Aleppo evacuation delayed, not clear why

People carry their belongings as they flee deeper into the remaining rebel-held areas of Aleppo, Syria December 13, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

BEIRUT (Reuters) - An evacuation of rebel-held areas of eastern Aleppo was delayed on Wednesday for reasons that were not clear, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, holding up implementation of an agreement to restore government control over the area.

Observatory Director Rami Abdulrahman said the first group of evacuees was due to leave at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT), but nobody had left an hour later.

A Reuters witness said none of the buses brought to evacuate the people had moved into the city’s eastern districts by 6:15 a.m. (0415 GMT).

Sources on Tuesday had given different expected start times for the evacuation. Opposition officials said they had expected a first group of wounded people to leave on Tuesday evening.

A military official in the alliance supporting Syrian President Bashir al-Assad alliance had said the evacuation was due to start at 5 a.m. (0300 GMT).

Writing by Tom Perry; Editing by Paul Tait