400 evacuated from Syria’s Homs despite militants threat

400 evacuated from Syria’s Homs despite militants threat
Sun Feb 9, 2014 20:08:22

More than 400 civilians have been evacuated from the besieged districts of the Syrian city of Homs, Syrian state TV has reported.

The state television quoted Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi as saying on Sunday that 420 besieged people “came out today from the Old City districts of Homs, and the operation is still under way.”

Reports said the operation took place despite raging fire from foreign-backed militants in the Arab country.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the fire hit the district of Qarabis in Homs, where dozens of civilians had gathered for evacuation by the United Nations.

The evacuation of people is part of a three-day ceasefire brokered by the UN between the Syrian army and the foreign-backed militants.

On Friday, 83 women, children and elderly people trapped in the beleaguered city were bussed out to a safe zone.

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

However, a joint UN-Red Crescent aid convoy in Homs came under attack on Saturday. Four members of the Syrian Red Crescent and a truck driver were injured after mortars and shots were fired at the convoy.

The Syrian national television quoted Barazi as saying that two vehicles carrying aid supplies had entered the Old City, but militants had targeted the route with mortar fire and prevented more vehicles from entering.

Syria sank into war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


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