AP PHOTOS: Syrians flee besieged Damascus suburb

3 Nov

Men wait to be searched by the Syrian military after they have crossed from the rebel held suburb of Moadamiyeh to the government held territory Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 in Damascus, Syria. Nearly 2,000 residents of the besieged western Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh have fled their homes and have surrendered to the Syrian authorities after reports of starvation and disease triggered an international outcry for their help. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Men wait to be searched by the Syrian military after they have crossed from the rebel held suburb of Moadamiyeh to the government held territory Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 in Damascus, Syria. Nearly 2,000 residents of the besieged western Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh have fled their homes and have surrendered to the Syrian authorities after reports of starvation and disease triggered an international outcry for their help. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Elderly men carry their belongings as they arrived from the rebel held suburb of Moadamiyeh to the government held territory Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 in Damascus, Syria. Nearly 2,000 residents of the besieged western Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh have fled their homes and have surrendered to the Syrian authorities after reports of starvation and disease triggered an international outcry for their help. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Men walk from the rebel held suburb of Moadamiyeh to the government held territory Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 in Damascus, Syria. Nearly 2,000 residents of the besieged western Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh have fled their homes and have surrendered to the Syrian authorities after reports of starvation and disease triggered an international outcry for their help. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

A woman is helped by Red Crescent workers on her way from the rebel-held suburb of Moadamiyeh to the government-held territory Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 in Damascus, Syria. Nearly 2,000 residents of the besieged western Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh have fled their homes and have surrendered to the Syrian authorities after reports of starvation and disease triggered an international outcry for their help. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

People walk from the rebel held suburb of Moadamiyeh to the government held territory Tuesday Oct. 29, 2013 in Damascus, Syria. Nearly 2,000 residents of the besieged western Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh have fled their homes and have surrendered to the Syrian authorities after reports of starvation and disease triggered an international outcry for their help. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

(AP) — Nearly 2,000 Syrians fled the war-ravaged Damascus district of Moadamiyeh Tuesday with the help of aid workers during a temporary cease-fire, a result of a rare agreement between government forces and rebels to avert a humanitarian crisis.

The evacuation was made possible after reports of starvation and disease in the western suburb triggered an international outcry. Moadamiyeh was also one of several areas hit by a chemical weapons attack in August that killed hundreds of people.

Desperate-looking men, women and children left the town, crossing over into no man’s land. Some of the elderly and sick were carried by Red Crescent workers on stretchers. Men were lined up and searched by the Syrian military.

Akhil Iad, a government official at the scene, said the evacuated civilians were taken to temporary shelters.

He said that all together, some 5,000 people have been evacuated from Moadamiyeh over the past several months, adding that there are no more civilians in the suburb.

Around 3,000 residents of the suburb were able to flee the area late August during another cease-fire.

Syrian troops have resorted to blockades of rebel-held neighborhoods in an effort to flush out fighters, keeping food and supplies from entering.

Here’s a gallery of images from Associated Press photographer Dusan Vranic. You can follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DusanVranic

Follow other AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/150o6jo

Associated PressSource: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/cae69a7523db45408eeb2b3a98c0c9c5/Article_2013-10-29-Syria-Fleeing%20Moadamiyeh-Photo%20Gallery/id-f89d2e80f7e04faea1d1ae162554a5fd
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