Residents and armed opposition evacuated Damascus suburb Muadhamiya

The displaced Darayya residents will be taken to a temporary housing area nearby. AP
The displaced Darayya residents will be taken to a temporary housing area nearby. AP

Three hundred people are leaving a besieged rebel-held suburb of Syria’s capital, Damascus, as part of what the government has described as an amnesty.

Buses came to Muadhamiya on Friday to pick up displaced residents of nearby Darayya, another rebel bastion that was evacuated after surrendering last week.

They will go to a temporary housing area in government-controlled Harjaleh.

There are unconfirmed reports that once the last person from Darayya has left, Muadhamiya will itself surrender.

Sources told the AFP news agency that negotiations were under way to secure a deal under which rebels would leave the suburb but civilians would remain.

Muadhamiya has been under siege since 2012, and an estimated 28,000 people are trapped there with dwindling supplies of food and medicine.

A limited truce deal signed in late 2013 has seen the suburb spared the heavy fighting that has ravaged other rebel-held areas, including Darayya.

Under the deal that resulted in their surrender eight days ago, some 4,000 Darayya residents were moved to shelters in Harjaleh and 700 rebel fighters and their families were transported by bus to the north-western rebel-held city of Idlib.

The 303 people from Darayya who began leaving Muadhamiya on Friday were being relocated after benefitting from a presidential amnesty declared in late July, the official Sana news agency reported.

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