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Militants impeding withdrawal of residents in Aleppo — official

The militants are using women and children as a human shield, says a spokesman for the Russian center for reconciliation

MOSCOW, September 12. /TASS/. Militants in Aleppo continue putting up obstacles to peaceful residents of Aleppo who seek to leave the zone of combat operations, Lt.-Col. Sergei Kopytsyn, a spokesman for the Russian center for reconciliation of the warring sides in Aleppo told reporters during a video conference.

"The outlow of peaceful civilians is slow, as the militants continue putting up obstacles to their withdrawal and using women and children as a human shield," he said. "The shelling of residential areas continues day and night."

He indicated, however, the presence of hope that the U.S. would eventually force the groupings under its control to pull armed units out of eastern Aleppo now that a package of Russian-American agreements has been signded, and the evacuation of local residents to safer areas will thus resume.

"Our task is to ensure security of peaceful residents leaving eastern districts of Aleppo and control over compliance with the peace and quiet order, Lt.-Col. Kopytsyn said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who held thirteen-hours-long talks in Geneva, coordinated a package of five documents called upon to bring about ceasefire in Syria and to lay down the foundations of a resumption of the political process.

The documents feature the separation of the armed opposition and terrorists and envision the delivery of joint Russian-U.S. airstrikes. They also specfy a procedure for reacting to violations of the ceasefire and some aspects of delivery of humanitarian aid millions of people are wanting badly.

In line with the agreements, peace and quiet order went into effect as of 00:00 hours on Monday.