Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Syrian town - 800 civilians evacuated

30 October 2013, 18:02

Beirut - Some 800 women, children and elderly civilians trapped in the besieged town of Moadamiyet al-Sham, southwest of Damascus, have been evacuated, activists said on Wednesday.

Supervised by the Red Crescent, they were escorted from the rebel-held town a day earlier in co-ordination with the regime.

"Eight hundred civilians were evacuated yesterday," said Wassim al-Ahmad, of the town's local council.

Activists had earlier reported the evacuation of 500 people.

"All sides, without exception, took part, including the opposition as represented by the National Coalition, the regime and the international community," an opposition activist in Moadamiyet al-Sham said.

Television footage showed the evacuees clutching a few personal belongings as they streamed out of the town along a dusty avenue, with Red Crescent staff carrying one elderly man and assisting another too frail to walk alone.

Moadamiyet al-Sham has been under a suffocating army siege for nearly a year.

Millions displaced

Rights groups and activists have reported widespread malnutrition there, particularly among children, because of a total blockade on the entry of food and other vital goods.

The army shells the town daily, and clashes rage on its outskirts, and the town was the scene of one of the army's chemical attacks near Damascus on 21 August, which killed hundreds of people.

Activists there issued a statement saying they would have preferred humanitarian assistance to be brought in instead, "but we did not have a choice".

The civilians who left have now joined millions of people internally displaced by the war.

They are being moved to "camps set up by the regime in the outskirts of Qudsaya (near Damascus), in coordination with the Red Crescent," said the activists.

According to Ahmad, "there are some 6 000 civilians left in the town".

Tuesday's evacuation was the second operation of its kind since 12 October, when 3 000 civilians were taken out on buses.

The opposition and UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos have both called for humanitarian corridors into Moadamiyet al-Sham.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What To Do If She Has A Boyfriend

Here are tips to help you get a girl who has a boyfriend: Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo blasts DP Ruto for ‘grabb...

11 Kamba MPs declared their allegiance to Jubilee last month. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President Uhuru Kenyatta pardons ...

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday released 7,000 petty offenders to create room in the prisons. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Why Mashujaa Day celebrations wer...

Find out why this year's Mashujaa Day celebrations were held in Machakos. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
Foods that burn belly fat fast

You can take your best foods and snacks and still be able to get rid of that pot belly. Read more...