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East Aleppo 'catastrophic' as tens of thousands flee

Evacuees from the eastern districts of Aleppo gather to board buses. Syrian civilians in rebel-held eastern Aleppo are expressing desperation over their survival, as fighting between the government and the opposition carves deeper into the eastern half of the city. The Syrian Civil Defense, known as the White Helmets, a volunteer rescue group, said at least 45 people, mostly women and children, were killed and more than 50 injured on Wednesday, in Jibb al-Qubba, by regime artillery shelling on those fleeing the conflict.

But the official state news agency, SANA, published a video appearing to show thousands of civilians boarding buses and leaving east Aleppo safely.  Operating on the ground, the Red Cross (ICRC), said that at least 20,000 civilians have fled their homes in the past 72 hours, with some making it to shelters in the regime-held western half of the city, while others are retreating into other neighbourhoods in the east. 

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