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April 15, 2014

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Syria allows some fighting-age men to leave Homs

Updated Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 | 3:22 a.m.

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government has allowed 111 men of fighting age to leave rebel-held areas of the besieged city of Homs after they were questioned and cleared of rebel links.

Syria state TV on Tuesday quoted Homs governor Talal Barrazi as saying the men, aged between 16 and 54, have left Homs during the U.N.-brokered cease-fire the day before.

Barrazi says the men were "cleared after they handed themselves over to the authorities."

The report came as aid workers rush to evacuate even more people from Homs. About 800 civilians, mostly women and elderly, have already been evacuated from Homs since Friday, when the truce went into effect.

Before the evacuations began, authorities said that gunmen who surrender and renounce violence will be allowed to return to normal life.