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Russo-Syrian humanitarian pause starts in Aleppo

Takfiri militants watch as smoke billows in the background on November 3, 2016, at an entrance to the northwestern Syria city of Aleppo. (Photo by AFP)

Russia and Syria have started observing a unilateral humanitarian pause in Aleppo to give civilians and militants another chance to leave the city.

The 10-hour-long truce took effect at 0700 GMT (0900 local time) on Friday, the second such temporary truce announced in the city by Russia and Syria.

Drones filmed roadways and crossing points designated for the withdrawal of militants. Two corridors will remain open for the militants to leave eastern Aleppo and six others are reserved for civilians there.

A similar, three-day humanitarian pause ended last month. Moscow said Thursday Russia and Syria were giving the ceasefire another try in an attempt to "prevent senseless casualties."

Foreign-backed militants, however, have ignored the gesture and used the pause to launch one of their most ferocious offensives last week in order to break an army siege in eastern Aleppo.

Rocket fire on government-held districts killed at least 15 people on Thursday, bringing civilian toll in the area in recent days to 70, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, has said the militants had intentionally killed scores of civilians in the west of the city.

An injured child receives treatment at the University hospital in a government-held neighborhood in the northwestern Syria city of Aleppo on November 3, 2016 following militant attack on government-held parts of the city. (Photo by AFP)

Meanwhile, Daesh news agency Amaq uploaded a video purportedly showing a rocket attack on a Russian helicopter near Homs. 

Russia's Defense Ministry said a Russian helicopter made an emergency landing near the Palmyra city on Thursday and was shot at after it touched down, but the crew returned safely to the Hmeimim airbase.

A ministry official said the helicopter was delivering humanitarian aid some 40 km northwest of Palmyra, also known as Tadmur. 

A mix of Takfiri militants, including the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, and the extremist Ahrar al-Sham outfit, control the eastern flanks of Aleppo.

The Syrian army launched operations to reunite the government-held western part and the eastern section of Aleppo on September 22. 

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