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Dec 11, 7:50 AM EST

Another 4,000 Syrians flee fighting in Aleppo


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BEIRUT (AP) -- Syria's state news agency says another 4,000 people have fled the northern city of Aleppo, where government forces are closing in on a rapidly shrinking rebel enclave.

State TV on Sunday showed hundreds of Syrians fleeing eastern Aleppo as the fighting raged, saying more than 70,000 people have fled since the wide-scale offensive began earlier this month.

A state TV broadcaster said insurgents still control around 7 square kilometers (4 square miles) in the city's east.

Rebels captured the eastern half of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and onetime commercial capital, in 2012. The government's recapture of the city would mark its greatest victory since the war began in 2011.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov says 291 rebels have surrendered. Russia is a key ally of Assad.

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