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Christians evacuated from besieged Syrian city

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(AP) – A priest in Syria says the first group of Christians has been evacuated from the besieged city of Homs after a deal between the Syrian army and rebels.

Maximos al-Jamal, a Greek Orthodox priest who has been involved in the plight of Syrian Christians, said on Wednesday that 63 people were evacuated over the past 24 hours.

He says they are among over 100 civilians, mainly Christians, trapped in the besieged Homs neighborhoods of Bistan al-Diwan and al-Hamidiyah. Al-Jamal says a deal was struck between the army and armed gunmen in those areas and that mediation is ongoing to get the remaining civilians out.

Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population of 22 million say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country.

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