Talks to end the war in Syria are expected to start on Friday and last six months, the UN’s special envoy on Syria has said.

Staffan de Mistura said discussions over who should take part in the talks were still ongoing, according to a report by BBC News.

The announcement came as 23 people were reported killed in an attack on a rebel checkpoint in Aleppo.

More than 250,000 people have died in Syria in the almost five years of fighting since opposition protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad began.

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