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East Aleppo 'catastrophic' as tens of thousands flee

The Red Cross (ICRC), operating on the ground, said 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. Others, it said, are retreating into other neighbourhoods in the east. "We are so afraid. The army is about five to six kilometres away from us," Marwa Taleb, resident of the al-Kallasseh neighbourhood in eastern Aleppo, told. "The exodus is extreme in every meaning of the word. Many from Hanano and Sakhour, where the army has advanced, are coming into our neighbourhoods. There is so much anxiety and fear." Earlier this month, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces intensified their push for control over eastern Aleppo. They have reportedly captured a third of the area in what residents describe as an unrelenting ground and air campaign.

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