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Syria allows a few wounded evacuated

Feb. 25, 2012 at 10:08 AM

HOMS, Syria, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- The Syrian government allowed the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to evacuate seven injured women and children from the heavily bombarded city of Homs.

The government has not allowed the International Committee for the Red Cross into the city, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Those evacuated by the Red Crescent Friday were believed to be Syrians, leaving two injured European journalists in the city.

The ICRC is trying to secure permission to get Edith Bouvier, a correspondent for French newspaper Le Figaro, and Paul Conroy, a British photographer, out of Homs along with other Syrians wounded in three weeks of shelling.

Sean Maguire, an ICRC spokesman, said the situation in the Baba Amr neighborhood, an opposition stronghold, "is deteriorating by the hour."

"Those in need include the injured journalists, but are certainly not limited to them," he added.

The bombardment of Homs and reports that government forces have summarily executed entire families, including children, appears to be costing President Bashar Assad most of his support in the Arab world. Hamas, the Palestinian group that has long used Damascus as its base outside Gaza, said Friday it now supports the Syrian opposition, the Telegraph said.

At a "Friends of Syria" meeting Friday in Tunis, Tunisia, Prince Saud al-Faisal called supplying arms to the opposition an "excellent idea" at a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, The New York Times reported.

Al-Arabiya television reported he asked the representatives at the meeting, "Is it justice to offer aid and leave the Syrians to the killing machine?"

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