A Red Crescent vehicle carries mattresses for Syrians evacuating the eastern districts of Aleppo, in a government held-area in Aleppo, Syria in this handout picture provided by SANA on Nov. 27, 2016. SANA/Handout via REUTERS
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Aid workers have begun evacuating emergency medical cases from Syria's besieged rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, the Red Cross said Wednesday, after months of waiting during which the United Nations said at least 16 people died.The Syrian Red Crescent said the evacuations followed "long negotiations" but did not go into details.Last week, Jan Egeland, the head of the UN's humanitarian taskforce for Syria, warned that at least 16 people had died while waiting for evacuation from Eastern Ghouta.He said a list put together several months ago of nearly 500 civilians in desperate need of evacuation was rapidly shrinking.Rebel fighters pulled out of second city Aleppo and third city Homs, as well as districts of Damascus, only after prolonged blockades caused serious hardship to their families and other civilians.More than 340,000 people have been killed and millions have been driven from their homes since Syria's conflict erupted with anti-government protests in 2011 .
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