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CORRECTED - Syria state TV: evacuation deal reached for Aleppo and Shi'ite villages
December 18, 2016 / 11:40 AM / 9 months ago

CORRECTED - Syria state TV: evacuation deal reached for Aleppo and Shi'ite villages

People warm themselves around a fire while waiting to be evacuated from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

(Adds Zabadani town in the deal in par. 5)

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian state television reported on Sunday that there was a deal between the government and rebels to evacuate people from east Aleppo in return for the evacuation of people from al-Foua and Kefraya, two villages besieged by insurgents.

According to al-Ikhbariya TV news, about 1,200 civilians would initially be evacuated from east Aleppo and a similar number from the two villages in Idlib province.

Once evacuees from the villages have safely arrived in government areas, Aleppo fighters and more of their family members will be allowed to leave in return for other batches of people departing al-Foua and Kefraya.

A document cited by Lebanese group Hezbollah’s al-Manar television and passed to Reuters by rebels and activists said the deal would see 2,500 citizens leave al-Foua and Kefraya in exchange for the evacuation of people from east Aleppo.

Following this, another 1,500 will leave al-Foua and Kefraya in exchange for the evacuation of 1,500 from Madaya and neighbouring town Zabadani, which are besieged by pro-Syrian government forces.

Reporting By Lisa Barrington and Angus McDowall; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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