Mortar shell hits near RT crew filming in Aleppo humanitarian corridor (VIDEO)

An RT crew covering the situation in Aleppo, Syria, has come under mortar fire. A shell landed some 15 meters from the crew, which was filming in a humanitarian corridor citizens wishing to leave the city can use.

A total of three shells apparently fired from the rebel-controlled part of Aleppo landed near a group of journalists from different outlets, including RT, the crew reported.

Throughout the morning there was heavy shelling of government checkpoints in the area, RT’s Murad Gazdiev said. There was then a lull, which prompted the journalists to believe that it would be safe to do their job in the open. However, they then came under fire.

“There was panic. Everybody ran to whatever cover they could find. Our Arabic colleagues got to a house, we got to another one further away,” he said. “By all appearances this was happening on purpose. They were trying to send a message.”

Some groups of rebels controlling eastern Aleppo object to any contact with the Syrian government and prevent both civilians and other militants from leaving the city by use of deadly force.

Russia this week paused its joint offensive with Syrian government troops on eastern Aleppo to allow people wishing to leave the city to do so. This applies both to civilians and militants, who were provided separate corridors to leave Aleppo with their arms. The move is meant to curb casualties and damage to the rebel-held part of the city sustained during the hostilities, as well as to allow the level of violence to be reduced in the hope of an eventual ceasefire.

READ MORE: Terrorists shell humanitarian corridor with mortars as civilians near Aleppo try to flee – reports

Washington and its allies accuse Russia of indiscriminate attacks on eastern Aleppo, claiming they amounts to war crimes. Moscow says the US is at least partially to blame for the continued violence because it failed to convince so-called moderate rebels to stop mingling with terrorist groups and observe a ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia last month. The ceasefire never came into force due to continued violations.