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Buses enter Aleppo to resume evacuation


Buses began entering the last rebel-held parts of Aleppo on Sunday to resume the evacuation of Syrian civilians and rebels, official media reported.

The operation had been suspended on Friday, a day after thousands of people had begun leaving the rebel enclave under a deal allowing the regime to take full control of the city.

Buses started entering several neighbourhoods on Sunday under the supervision of the Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross “to bring the remaining terrorists and their families out,” state news agency SANA said, referring to the rebels.

The main obstacle to the resumption of the operation had been a disagreement over the number of people to be evacuated in parallel from two Shiite villages, Fuaa and Kafraya, under rebel siege in northwestern Syria.

A rebel representative told AFP on Sunday that a new agreement had been reached under which the evacuations would take place in two phases.

“In a first step, half of the people besieged in Aleppo will leave, in parallel with the evacuation of 1,250 people from Fuaa,” representative said on condition of anonymity.

According to the United Nations, around 40,000 civilians and rebels are trapped in the opposition-held sector of Aleppo.

“In a second step, 1,250 people from Kafraya will leave in parallel with the evacuation of the remaining people in Aleppo,” the rebel representative said.

Another 1,500 people will later leave Fuaa and Kafraya along with the same number from Zabadani and Madaya, two rebel towns besieged by the regime in Damascus province.

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