Over 13,000 civilians freed from east Aleppo

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Damascus, Dec 12 (IANS) Over 13,000 civilians have been rescued from militant-held parts of eastern Aleppo, while over 700 militants have surrendered to the Syrian Army, the Russian Defence Ministry announced on Monday.

The rescue operation was conducted with the help of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation and there were 5,831 children among the 13,346 rescued people, RT online reported.

Russian Defence Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that all of the liberated residents have been accommodated at aid centres, where they are being supplied with food and medical aid.

The Russian Centre for Reconciliation was monitoring the withdrawal of civilians from the (militant-held) areas.

Meanwhile, scores of civilians were seen returning to their homes in the al-Sakhour and al-Shaar districts in eastern Aleppo. Government forces liberated the neighbourhood over the weekend.

On Saturday, the Syrian Army also officially managed to enter Al-Tall, a key suburb in rural Damascus, which has had been held by the rebels until now. That neighbourhood was believed to be the last suburb northwest of Damascus that was still under militant control.

–IANS

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