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Russia, Syria announce 8-hour ceasefire in Aleppo districts

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Beirut : Russian and Syrian forces will halt hostilities for eight hours in the eastern districts of Aleppo, Russia’s military announced on a day when opposition activists said their airstrikes killed at least 36 people, including several children, in and around the divided city, reports AP.

  The two militaries will observe a “humanitarian pause” between 8 am and 4 pm on October 20 to allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city, Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of Russia’s general staff said in Moscow. Militants, the wounded and sick would be allowed to evacuate to the neighboring rebel-held province of Idlib.

   UN humanitarian officials have pleaded with combatants to observe weekly 48-hour cease-fires to allow humanitarian relief into the city’s besieged eastern districts, but Russian and Syrian forces have only escalated their aerial and ground assault on the rebel-held areas in recent weeks. The airstrikes have claimed hundreds of lives, wounded many, flattened apartment buildings and laid waste to the already crippled medical sector.