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Thousands flee eastern Aleppo as government forces advance

Thousands of people have begun to flee districts of eastern Aleppo with government forces making significant advances into rebel-held territory.

Rebel defences appear to be rapidly failing with government-backed forces retaking a third of opposition-held Aleppo in recent days.

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Up to 16,000 people displaced in eastern Aleppo - UN

A market hit by airstrikes in Aleppo's rebel-held al-Fardous district. Credit: Reuters

Up to 16,000 people have been displaced in the Syrian city of Aleppo over the past few days following intense attacks in the rebel-held eastern part of the city, the United Nations has said.

Humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said the area has "no functioning hospitals left" and "official food stocks are practically finished".

Thousands more are expected to flee their homes in the coming days if the fighting persists, he added in a statement.

Warplanes pounded eastern Aleppo overnight killing at least 18 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights - a UK-based war monitor.

The Syrian army and its allies made a huge advance across the northern part of besieged eastern Aleppo on Sunday night and Monday as rebels retreated to a more defensible front line after losing control of a key district.

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