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UN source: humanitarian convoy stopped close to Homs’ old quarters

February 08, 2014, 23:00 UTC+3 GENEVA

The convoy failed to enter the city due to the fact that it had been attacked by militants, the source said

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GENEVA, February 08, 22:33 /ITAR-TASS/. A humanitarian convoy, which should enter the old quarters of the Syrian city of Homs, has passed through the last checkpoint, a well-informed source told Itar-Tass.

The convoy failed to enter the city due to the fact that it had been attacked by militants, the source said.

According to reports from the spot, the convoy passed through the checkpoint and was fired, including from mortars, the source said.

Spokeswoman to the World Food Programme Elisabeth Byers said information from Syria was very contradictory. “The only thing I can day the situation is very tense,” she said.

Earlier, Homs Governor Talal al-Barazi told Al Mayadeen that one of the militants’ groups had violated a ceasefire agreement.

“It has not been subordinated to field commanders with whom an agreement was reached,” the governor said.

The incident did not stop the delivery of foodstuffs that continued in residential areas. According to al-Barazi, the Syrian authorities wait for a bus carrying evacuated residents.

Al Mayadeen reports that the Syrian authorities allowed transportation of three tonnes of foodstuffs to Homs. The delivery will be started within hours. At present, the local authorities are coordinating an area where the U.N. convoy will proceed due the fact that the evacuation of peaceful civilians has been delayed.

The situation is calm in the city. The humanitarian operation is led by U.N. coordinator Jacob el-Helo, who said the government structures and the city authorities had made effective contribution to the office.

“I want to thank the Syrian Red Crescent courageous employees, who carried out the operation,” el-Helo said.

The U.N. sources do not rule out that the agreement on a “humanitarian pause” will be extended in order to allow most people to leave the area of Al Hamidiyeh.

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