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Militants kill 4 civilians trying to escape E. Ghouta – media

Militants kill 4 civilians trying to escape E. Ghouta – media
A woman and three children were killed as militants opened fire on civilians to prevent them leaving Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, the Syrian SANA news agency reports. The victims were attempting to escape via a safe passage.

The four civilians were trying to pass through a recently opened humanitarian corridor from Jisrein to Mlekha during the twelfth humanitarian pause, SANA reported citing its journalist on the ground on Saturday. 

The same area saw an increased number of confrontations between locals and militants after the opening of Jisrein-Mlekha checkpoint on Thursday, according to spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation in Syria, Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin.

“After the opening of an additional checkpoint in the direction of Jisrein-Mlekha area, the Syrian side has registered increased number of clashes between the civilians and the militants who are blocking the exits from the area,” Zolotukhin told reporters.

On Friday, the Russian military said that the first group of militants surrendered their arms and left the rebel-controlled Damascus suburb through Muhayam al-Wafideen corridor. An increasing number of rebel fighters in Syria seek to disassociate themselves from Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorists, according to the head of the Reconciliation Center, Major General Yury Yevtushenko.

Militants in Eastern Ghouta have been blocking civilians trying to leave the suburb since the first humanitarian corridor was opened at the end of February. The Russian military has repeatedly said that terrorists use civilians as human shields and their homes as shelters.

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