Four members of an aid convoy bringing humanitarian supplies to Homs in Syria are wounded by rebel fighters.
Syrian state television said the Red Crescent members came under fire from “armed terrorist groups”, the label authorities give to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad.
The humanitarian convoy had been delayed since Saturday morning by mortar fire in Homs, which the two warring sides blamed each other for, in violation of a three-day ceasefire for civilians to leave central Homs and aid supplies to get in.
The Red Crescent said on its Twitter feed that an aid truck driver had been wounded after shots were fired at the convoy, and that mortar shells also landed close by as the vehicles moved into the Old City.
It posted a picture which appeared to show a bullet hole in the back window of a Red Crescent car.
— Syrian Red Crescent (@SYRedCrescent) February 8, 2014
Syrian television quoted the governor of Homs, Talal al-Barazi, as saying two cars carrying aid supplies had entered the Old City but that rebels had targeted the route with mortar fire, preventing any more vehicles from entering.
The violence threatens to unravel a humanitarian deal for Homs which was the first concrete result of talks launched two weeks ago in Geneva to try to end the country’s civil war.
The conflict has killed more than 130,000 people, driven millions from their homes and reduced parts of Syria’s cities to rubble.
At the Geneva peace talks, which resume on Monday, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi has been pushing for agreement on aid deliveries and prisoner releases, hoping that progress on those issues could build momentum to address the far more contentious question of political transition.
But even the humanitarian talks have taken time and delivered only modest results.
Homs governor Talal al-Barazi said two vehicles carrying aid supplies had entered the Old City but that rebels had targeted the route with mortar fire, preventing any more cars from entering.
An hour after dusk, it was still unclear whether the United Nations and Red Crescent operation had succeeded in delivering any of the medicine or food, which would be the first such delivery to central Homs in a year and a half, or brought out any more civilians.
On Friday 83 women, children and elderly men were evacuated from the Old City of Homs. Aid workers said many showed signs of malnutrition.