First group of civilians evacuated from besieged Homs
HOMS - A first group of civilians was evacuated from besieged rebel-held areas of Homs on Friday under a UN-supervised deal between the Syrian government and opposition.
Some 12 civilians came out on the first evacuation bus, among nearly 200 expected to be brought out during the day, a correspondent reported.
State television broadcast footage of the vehicle leaving a meeting point just outside one of the besieged areas amid a heavy troop presence.
Most of those on the first bus out were elderly people, an activist inside the rebel enclave, who gave his name only as Ghaith, said via the Internet.
The evacuation is part of a surprise deal brokered by the United Nations between the warring sides on Thursday after months of negotiations that will also see desperately needed aid delivered to the rebel enclave during a "humanitarian pause" in fighting.
But the first consignment of food and medicines will not reach the hundreds of civilians who have been under army blockade for more than 600 days before Saturday, Homs governor Talal Barazi said.