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Aleppo evacuation to continue after new Syria deal reached

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Thousands of Aleppo residents will continue evacuation Saturday from the war-torn city after the government and rebels reached an agreement to allow “humanitarian cases” to be moved out of the area.

The deal allows the evacuation of civilians and rebels from eastern Aleppo including “humanitarian cases” of wounded civilians from the Shia towns or al-Foua and Kefraya. The wounded from Madaya and Zabadani, two besieged towns near the Lebanese border, will also be evacuated, according to the BBC.

Up to 8,000 people had fled eastern Aleppo following Thursday’s ceasefire, but confusion abounded on Friday when evacuations were suspended following explosions near an evacuation convoy.

The government said rebel fighters had fired on the convoy while rebels said the government fired first, as the evacuation reportedly stopped due to refusal by al-Qaida-linked militants to allow the wounded from Fua and Kefraya to evacuate.

British-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the evacuations of Fua and Kefraya could begin on Saturday under the new deal.

The United Nations security council is expected to vote on a proposal drafted by France to ensure international observers coordinate the evacuation efforts, with humanitarian aid allowed in Aleppo and protection provided for hospitals, The Guardian reported.

“The immediate priority is to save lives, to stop the massacres and to avoid a new Srebrenica,” France’s ambassador to the United Nations, Francois Delattre, said.

UPI

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