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More than 130 militants leave Syria’s Homs under govt. deal



More than 130 foreign-backed militants, along with their families, have been evacuated from Syria’s western city of Homs under a deal reached with the government in Damascus last year.

A government source in Homs province said 131 militants, in addition to 119 family members, were bused out of Waer district on Monday, heading for Dar al-Kubra area in the northern parts of the province.

“We will continue evacuating armed men from the neighborhood. The process will be finished in the next few weeks,” said Talal Barazi, the Homs governor.

The Monday evacuation was the third since a deal was reached with the government in December 2015, as part of an arrangement to bring the district under full government control.

A group of more than 100 militants and their families left the neighborhood last week.

Waer, which was once home to 300,000 people, now only houses some 75,000. It is the last district of Homs still under the control of militants, who withdrew from the Old City of Homs last year.

Syria has been plagued by a bloody foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. Over the past few months, the Syrian army has liberated several areas, inflicting heavy losses on Takfiri militants.

According to UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, more than 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria.

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