Civilians depart eastern Aleppo as part of an organised evacuation.
Civilians depart eastern Aleppo as part of an organised evacuation. Uncredited

Mass evacuation from Aleppo

THOUSANDS of people have been evacuated from the last rebel bastion in the Syrian city of Aleppo under a ceasefire that could end years of fighting.

Starting on Thursday, convoys of ambulances and buses with 3000 people aboard left the devastated city, which was besieged and bombarded for months by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's army and Russian forces.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said late on Thursday that some 3000 civilians and more than 40 wounded people, including children, had already been evacuated.

ICRC official Robert Mardini told Reuters there were no clear plans yet for how to ship out rebel fighters, who will be allowed under the ceasefire to leave for other areas outside government control.

Earlier, ambulances trying to evacuate people came under fire from fighters loyal to the Syrian government, who injured three people, a rescue service spokesman said. US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday the Syrian government was carrying out "nothing short of a massacre” in Aleppo.

The war has displaced more than 12 million Syrians.



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