Dec 9, 2:31 AM EST

Russia says over 8,000 civilians leave eastern Aleppo


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MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russian military says it has helped more than 8,000 civilians leave the rebel-controlled eastern part of Aleppo.

The military's Center for Reconciliation in Syria said early Friday that 8,461 civilians, including 2,934 children, have left Aleppo's eastern neighborhoods in the last 24 hours. The center said 14 militants surrendered their weapons and were granted amnesty.

The statement came hours after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Syrian government troops suspended their active operations in Aleppo to allow the evacuation of civilians. Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have retaken large parts of eastern Aleppo in recent days.

The Russian military said its sappers have cleared mines from 6 hectares (15 acres) of Aleppo, allowing the restoration of a water facility, two power stations, two mosques and two schools.

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