New rescue bid in Syria's Homs

2012-02-25 10:10
Damascus - The Red Cross made a new attempt on Saturday to bring out people trapped in the besieged Syrian city Homs, two of them wounded Western journalists, after a first successful rescue of civilians.

The humanitarian effort came after Arab and Western governments called on Damascus to "immediately cease all violence" to allow access, more than three weeks into a deadly assault on rebel neighbourhoods of Syria's third largest city.

Red Cross and Red Crescent ambulances entered the besieged Homs district of Baba Amr on Friday and evacuated seven Syrians wounded in shelling by regime forces as well as 20 women and children.

But the ambulances did not evacuate two wounded Western journalists and the bodies of two others, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross told AFP.

"Three ambulances entered Baba Amr and they have left. They evacuated so far seven wounded Syrian citizens," Saleh Dabbakeh said.

Negotiations for the entry of further relief convoys were to resume early on Saturday after breaking off for the night.

"Negotiations continue with the Syrian authorities and the opposition in an attempt to evacuate all persons, without exception, who are in need of urgent help," Dabbakeh said.

The evacuation was organised by the ICRC along with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and was the first time rescuers had entered the flashpoint Baba Amr neighbourhood in 21 straight days of deadly bombardment.

The Red Crescent said on its Facebook page that "in addition to the seven wounded, it also evacuated 20 women and children" from Baba Amr.

Read more on:    red cross  |  syria  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings

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