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Some 8,500 civilians flee to government-held

9 December 2016 9:32

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Around 8,500 civilians have been evacuated from the militant-held eastern side of Aleppo via humanitarian corridors, amid ongoing clean-up operations in the northwestern Syrian city.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the there were 2,934 children among those evacuated from the occupied parts of Aleppo over the past 24 hours.

The ministry said the Russian military’s sappers and bomb disposal experts were active clearing the areas freed from militant control of mines and unexploded devices.

So far, the experts had cleared some 60,000 square meters (37 square miles), and restored the central water pumping station, two power plants, two schools and two mosques in the city.

 

The Syrian military, which is in control of the western part of the city, has been fighting to wrest back its militant-held east. So far it has reclaimed some 85 percent of the eastern part.

Damascus has called on the militants holed up in Aleppo’s east to lay down arms and surrender. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has ordered for those militants choosing to stop fighting to be granted amnesty.

The recent army gains have flown in the face of the unstinting financial and military support, which many foreign states have been providing to the militants since 2011 to secure the ouster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian troops look out from the citadel of the northern city of Aleppo, December 7, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

 

 

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