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Nearly 19,000 people evacuated from east Aleppo: OCHA

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-12-20 21:24

GENEVA - The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Tuesday that almost 19,000 people have been evacuated from the last rebel-held enclave in Syria's city of Aleppo, adding that operations are ongoing there.

"At 9:20 local time this morning, 10 buses moved from the Ramousah checkpoint towards west Aleppo," Jens Laerke told press here.

"This brings to a total as of this morning to nearly 19,000 people who have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo since the beginning of operations on December 15," he added.

More buses are expected to move on Tuesday, Laerke said, adding that it is unclear how many people remain in the besieged rebel enclave.

Amongst those evacuated were 301 wounded, including 67 children. According to the World Health Organisation, almost a third were in critical condition.

A total of 93 patients were referred to hospitals in Turkey, with the others going to opposition-controlled Idlib and western rural Aleppo.

Pursuant to a United Nations Security Council resolution adopted Monday, Laerke also said that Damascus had given the go-ahead for an additional 20 expatriate UN staff to go to east Aleppo and monitor evacuations.

Parallel evacuations have also been taking place in the besieged Syrian towns of Foah and Kefraya, where 750 people have been able to leave since December 19.

Once Syria's commercial hub, Aleppo has been divided roughly in two since 2012, with western parts under government control and eastern districts held by rebels.

The situation in Aleppo worsened rapidly after a truce accord collapsed in September, with months of heavy fighting driving the city to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

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