EASTERN GHOUTA /Syria/, March 8. /TASS/. Militants fired at a column of 300 families heading to the southern exit from Eastern Ghouta, Maj Gen Vladimir Zolotukhin, a spokesman for the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria, told reporters.
According to him, the column was attacked at a distance of one kilometer from the exit, where the relatives of Ghouta residents heading to Al-Maliha were waiting for them.
As a result of the attack three cars were burnt. The information about the victims is being clarified.
Later, the militants opened mortar fire at the very exit, where the relatives of refugees were waiting for them, as well as a group of Russian and Western journalists. All of them were quickly evacuated, there are no casualties.
Earlier on Wednesday, Zolotukhin said that local residents of Eastern Ghouta are sending messages to the Center for the Reconciliation of the Opposing Sides in Syria, telling about their readiness to leave the area but militants’ ringleaders are taking all efforts to prevent their exit.
According to him, the illegal armed formations intensified repressive measures against the population and increased the intensity of shelling the checkpoint near the town of El-Vafidin.
On instructions from Russian President Vladimir Putin daily humanitarian pauses were introduced in Eastern Ghouta (a suburb of Damascus) from 09:00 to 14:00 local time starting from February 27. During the first three days, the humanitarian pauses were disrupted by militants.
As the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of the Warring Sides reported, the terrorists numerously shelled the corridor intended for the exit of civilians from that area and are also keeping hostage the population in their controlled Eastern Ghouta, threatening to punish those wishing to leave.