UN: Aleppo truce ‘enough to rescue injured’

Government forces have said they will open six corridors for the safe passage of fleeing civilians

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A temporary break in fighting in Aleppo will be long enough to safely evacuate 200 wounded from the devastated east of the Syrian city, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura said Wednesday.

His comments came hours after Russia announced it would extend a promised eight-hour truce in Aleppo on Thursday, to 11 hours to allow civilians and rebels to leave the city's rebel-held east.

Washington had voiced skepticism about how long the lull announced by Moscow from 0700 GMT on Tuesday in anticipation of a wider ceasefire would last.

But 24 hours after the start, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there had been no air strikes on rebel-held east Aleppo, which had been heavily bombed since the army launched an offensive to recapture it on September 22.

“There have been no air raids from yesterday morning until now,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Moscow said the lull was intended to give the more than 250,000 civilians trapped in east Aleppo time to prepare to leave the city during the eight-hour ceasefire announced for Thursday.

Government forces, which have kept rebel areas under near-continuous siege since mid-July, have said they will open six corridors for the safe passage of fleeing civilians.

The ceasefire is scheduled to begin at 0500 GMT on Thursday.

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