Europe

Russia: extra 'humanitarian pause' in Aleppo helps militants

The Russian military says extending breaks in the fighting in Aleppo would play into the hands of the militants.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said in a statement Thursday that the ministry had received a request from U.N. official Jan Egeland to extend the "humanitarian pause" in Aleppo.

Konashenkov criticized the U.N. for failing to make use of the 10-hour pause to deliver aid, despite being given advance notice. He added that extending the halts would only help the "terrorists" restore their capabilities.

Russia has repeatedly introduced such breaks to allow both fighters and civilians to leave Aleppo's rebel-held eastern part. But militants have refused to leave, and during the last such halt on Friday they fired at one of humanitarian corridors, wounding two Russian servicemen.