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Thousands escape war-torn Aleppo, says Russia

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By Euronews
Thousands escape war-torn Aleppo, says Russia

<p>Up to 10,500 Syrians have poured out of parts of war-torn eastern Aleppo in 24 hours, Moscow’s defence ministry said on Friday.</p> <p>The figure has not been independently verified. </p> <p>Russian claims that the Syrian army suspended military action to let civilians out of rebel-held areas are being doubted amid reports of continued fighting. </p> <p>“The people who joined the armed groups did it for the salary and the food and drink, and to protect themselves from abuse,” explained one man who escaped.</p> <p>“The groups mistreat those who don’t join. And they have a monopoly on all the food, which they sell (to the citizens).”</p> <p>Another man added: “They tried in any way with me to volunteer with them, but I refused and they beat me. I tried several times to escape from their areas to areas under government control.”</p> <p>The Russian air force and Iran-backed Shi’ite militias are fighting in Aleppo on the government side. </p> <p>Rebel leaders have given no indication they are about to withdraw, as civilians are squeezed into an ever-decreasing area.</p>