Talks on safe passage for Raqqa civilians halted - official

Talks on securing safe passage for civilians from the last neighborhoods held by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) of Syria’s Raqqa have stopped, a city official close to the discussions said Friday. City officials and tribal leaders had been working this week to negotiate the safe exit of people trapped inside extremist-held areas. The source told AFP that some civilians were safely brought out during a lull in fighting in recent days. However, negotiations faltered over the issue of letting IS fighters leave and clashes resumed. “We completely reject the idea that their security members leave the city without consequences,” the official said. It is not clear whether the talks might resume.