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Eastern Ghouta residents start forming armed groups to break militants' siege

March 02, 18:33 UTC+3 EASTERN GHOUTA

Clashes between locals and militants had taken place in Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday, leaving four civilians and three terrorists dead

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© EPA-EFE/MOHAMMED BADRA

EASTERN GHOUTA /Syria/, March 2. /TASS/. Civic activists in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta have begun to form small armed groups to break the militants’ blockade and reach areas controlled by the government, Spokesman for the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the opposing sides in Syria Major General Vladimir Zolotukhin told reporters.

"We have been receiving reports about the difficult humanitarian situation [in Eastern Ghouta - TASS], the lack of food and medicine, as well as numerous complaints about persecution on the part of militants," he said, adding that "it causes growing discontent among locals and even outbreaks of protest." "There is information that some civic activists are forming small armed groups, planning to break the militants’ blockade and reach areas controlled by the government," Zolotukhin noted.

The Russian Center for Reconciliation once again called on the leaders of illegal armed units to stop the persecution of civilians and allow them to leave Eastern Ghouta.

Zolotukhin earlier said that clashes between locals and militants had taken place in Eastern Ghouta on Wednesday, leaving four civilians and three terrorists dead.

At the Russian president’s order, a daily humanitarian pause from 09:00 to 14:00 is in effect in Eastern Ghouta starting from February 27, aimed at providing civilians with an opportunity to leave the area. However, militants disrupted the first three humanitarian pauses. According to sources in the Russian Center for Reconciliation, militants many times shelled the humanitarian corridor set up for civilians willing to exit from the enclave. They also prevented people from leaving threatening them with death.

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