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Deal reached to evacuate gunmen from besieged Ghouta

BEIRUT — Syrian state media and a rebel spokesman say a deal has been reached to evacuate 7,500 gunmen and their families from a town in Eastern Ghouta to an opposition-held province in northern Syria.

The deal would be the first instance of fighters evacuating the rebel-held region east of Damascus which has been under a ferocious government air and ground assault for a month.

The state-run Addounia TV says 1,500 gunmen and 6,000 of their relatives would be evacuated Thursday from the town of Harasta in two batches to Idlib.

Monther Fares, a spokesman for the powerful Ahrar al-Sham group, says the deal gives security guarantees for those who decide to stay in the town after the government takes over.

— AP

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