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1,000 evacuate Aleppo in buses, ambulances; arrive in opposition territory

AFP
Published : Dec 15, 2016, 7:53 pm IST
Updated : Dec 15, 2016, 7:54 pm IST

Ambulances carrying the first evacuees from Aleppo left remaining rebel-held territory in the city on Thursday under a fragile exit deal.

Eastern Aleppo residents wait in the streets to be evacuated from the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria. (Photo: AP)
 Eastern Aleppo residents wait in the streets to be evacuated from the war-torn city of Aleppo, Syria. (Photo: AP)

Beirut: A convoy carrying the first evacuees from rebel-held parts of Syria's Aleppo arrived in opposition territory west of the city on Thursday, a doctor there and a monitor said.

"Red Crescent vehicles carrying the wounded have arrived, and the wounded will be transferred to... nearby hospitals for treatment," said Ahmad al-Dbis, who heads the unit of doctors and other volunteers coordinating the evacuation of wounded people.

He spoke to AFP from the transit point near opposition-controlled Khan al-Aassal, about five kilometres (three miles) west of Aleppo city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor confirmed the first batch of evacuees had arrived.

Dbis said he saw Red Crescent aid workers rushing to open the doors of the ambulances, whose sirens were blaring.

Ambulances and buses carrying the first evacuees from Aleppo left remaining rebel-held territory in the city on Thursday under a fragile exit deal.

The slow-moving convoy of around two dozen vehicles snaked out of Al-Amiriyah district and crossed into government-held Ramussa before reaching rebel-held territory in the west of Aleppo province.

The head of the UN-backed humanitarian taskforce for Syria, Jan Egeland, told reporters in Geneva that "most" of those evacuated from Aleppo would be headed to opposition stronghold Idlib, in Syria's northwest.

"Once the convoy arrives safely it will return and collect more people for a second journey and continue like that," said Ingy Sedky, spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Tags: syria, aleppo, isis, aleppo evacuation
Location: Lebanon, Beirut, Beirut