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Aleppo evacuation operation 'in last stages'

The evacuation of civilians and rebels from eastern Aleppo is in its "last stages," the International Committee of the Red Cross has said.

Around 34,000 people have been evacuated in the week-long rescue operation.

Over 4,000 rebel fighters left between Wednesday and Thursday to rebel-held western rural Aleppo, as per an agreement reached with the government.

Thousands are expected to be evacuated as the rescue operation continues throughout Friday, a Red Cross spokeswoman said.

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Up to 100,000 people may be evacuated from Aleppo

Men wait to board buses taking them out of Aleppo. Credit: Reuters

Between 80,000 and 100,000 people may be evacuated from besieged east Aleppo, Turkey's deputy prime minister Veysi Kaynak has said.

The first convoy of buses has today left the devastated rebel-held enclave carrying around 950 people.

Thousands more are anxiously waiting to be evacuated to relative safety as government forces move in to re-take the territory.

Mr Kaynak has warned there are not enough shelters in Syria's Idlib province, where the evacuees are being brought, to house all the refugees from the city.

He said that they are considering setting up a second refugee shelter inside Syria to meet the demand.

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