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Homs Siege: Evacuations Begin After Ceasefire Deal In City

CAIRO, Egypt -- The long-await evacuation of civilians from the devastated Syrian city of Homs was finally underway Friday, according to officials with the United Nations World Food Programme.

The evacuations are part of a deal that will allow humanitarian aid to get to the city, much of which lies in ruins having been under siege since June 2012. Activists say as many as 2,500 people are trapped in Homs with little food and no medical supplies.

Syrian state television aired pictures showing parked U.N. buses, apparently awaiting refugees.

Some 200 civilians will evacuate by foot from the Jora al Shayah district, the city governor told the SANA news agency, which is run by the Syrian government.

The move was possible because of a three-day ceasefire deal agreed Thursday."The result of difficult, multi-day negotiations ... is an agreement to cease fire for three days and provide humanitarian support to the residents of the Old City of Homs," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement, according to Reuters.