Syrian girls sit in a Syrian Arab Red Crescent ambulance in Douma on the third night of evacuations from the besieged rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of the capital Damascus late on December 28, 2017. AFP / Hamza Al-Ajweh
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Aid workers completed a series of medical evacuations from a besieged rebel enclave near Damascus Friday as part of a controversial deal that saw patients swapped for hostages and prisoners.The patients were among a list of cases considered critical who were evacuated since Tuesday night from Eastern Ghouta, an area where the humanitarian crisis has escalated in recent months.The latest batch of patients the Syrian Red Crescent evacuated brought to 29 the number of civilians who were able to leave the area, which has been virtually cut off from the outside for four years.They were deemed among the most pressing cases on a list of around 500 people the United Nations said last month could die if they did not receive urgent assistance outside the besieged enclave.Another 16 patients had been evacuated on Tuesday night and Wednesday night by the Red Crescent and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
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