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ICRC: almost 150 patients evacuated from east Aleppo

ICRC: almost 150 patients evacuated from east AleppoNearly 150 civilians, most disabled or in need of urgent care, were evacuated overnight from a hospital in Aleppo's Old City, the first major medical evacuation from the eastern sector, Reuters cited the International Committee of the Red Cross on Thursday.

They had been trapped there for days by nearby fighting and as the front line moved closer, ICRC spokeswoman Krista Armstrong said, with only five staff to look after them.

Six children, found alone in nearby streets, aged from seven months to seven years, were also evacuated.

Eleven patients died from lack of medication or were killed in crossfire before ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent teams could reach them late on Wednesday, the agency said in a statement.

The United Nations has said for weeks that some 400 sick and wounded patients require emergency medical evacuation from east Aleppo for treatment, but it was not clear whether the 150 were among them.

Of the disabled, mental health patients, and wounded evacuated from Dar Al-Safaa hospital in the Old City, 118 were taken to three hospitals in the government-controlled west of Aleppo. Some were carried out on chairs.

Sixteen critical and emergency cases were transported by ambulance to Al-Razi surgical hospital and University Hospital, Armstrong said. Ibn Khaldoun hospital took the mental health and elderly patients, who were brought by bus, she said.

Thirty other men, women and children were taken to shelters, also in the west of the city, the ICRC statement said.

The agency called on all warring sides to allow a humanitarian pause so that aid supplies can be delivered to the besieged sector which has been inaccessible since April.

"We will not give up on the civilians caught amidst the fighting, and will keep trying and negotiating to reach them and respond to their needs," Armstrong said.
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