Six hundred Syrians evacuated from Old Homs

Six hundred Syrians evacuated from Old Homs
Mon Feb 10, 2014 16:32:06

Around six hundred people have been evacuated from the devastated militant-held district of the central Syrian city of Homs, activists and officials say.

Syrian Red Crescent and the United Nations on Sunday brought out the evacuees, mainly women, children and old men, on the third day of an operation during which the aid convoys came under fire and were briefly trapped in the city.

Scores of residents, carrying a few bags of possessions, rushed across an open expanse of no-man's land towards 10 white vehicles with UN markings. Gunshots could be heard as they raced to the cars.

"The last vehicle has arrived and the total is 611 people," Homs governor Talal Barazi told regional Arab broadcaster Al Mayadeen at a meeting point for evacuees outside the city.

Syrian Red Crescent confirmed that around 600 people were evacuated and said 60 food parcels and more than a ton of flour were delivered to the Old City.

Barazi and Red Crescent officials said they were working to extend the operation beyond Sunday, the final day of a fragile and frequently violated three-day ceasefire in the city.

On Saturday, foreign-backed militants had targeted the route to the center of the city with mortar fire to prevent aid convoys from entering the city.

UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos expressed deep disappointment after the attacks, though she vowed to keep pushing to deliver humanitarian assistance to Syria's neediest.


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