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Iran Press TV

800 civilians evacuated from Syrian city of Homs

Iran Press TV

Sun Feb 9, 2014 11:29PM GMT

Hundreds of Syrians have been evacuated by aid teams from besieged districts in the western city of Homs as operations to save civilians continue.

More than 800 civilians, mostly women and children, have been evacuated from the ancient parts of the city, known as Old Homs, despite raging fire from the militants, Syrian state media reported on Sunday.

The rescue operation is part of a UN-mediated ceasefire that began on Friday between government forces and foreign-backed militants to allow thousands of women, children and elderly men to leave militants-held parts of the city.

The deal also allows the entrance of humanitarian aid for civilians who choose to stay. The two sides had agreed on a pause in fighting as the deal is being implemented.

The militants have been holding parts of Homs for several months, causing widespread hunger and suffering.

On Sunday, dozens of people were injured when they came under fire from the militants as they waited at an agreed-upon evacuation point in the neighborhood of al-Qarabis.

'Our life was a disaster, we had no food, no water,' one woman said.

'There was nothing, my children are all sick. They were thirsty,' she said, standing with a group of exhausted-looking children.

On Friday, the first group of civilians was evacuated after the truce came into effect there. Aid deliveries to people living in dire conditions in the devastated city started on Saturday.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.


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