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Russia sends planes to evacuate citizens from Syria

A government official says Russia will send two planes to the Lebanese capital Beirut "so all the Russians who wish to can leave Syria"

AFP , Monday 21 Jan 2013
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Moscow will on Tuesday send two planes to Lebanon to evacuate over a hundred Russians from Syria, a ministry official said Monday.

"At the request of the Russian leadership, the ministry will send two planes to Beirut in Lebanon so all the Russians who wish to can leave Syria," Irina Rossious, spokeswoman for the emergency situations ministry, was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency.

"More than one hundred Russians are expected to leave Syria on board these planes," she said without giving further details.

The ministry could not be reached for further information late on Monday.

Russia is one of the last supporters of the regime in Syria where a 22-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has left over 60,000 people dead, according to United Nations figures.

The traditional Syria ally has used its veto power as a permanent member of the Security Council to block three resolutions which would have threatened sanctions against Assad.

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