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Russia evacuating citizens from Syria

Jan. 21, 2013 at 5:42 PM

MOSCOW, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Russia Monday dispatched two planes to evacuate Russian citizens from Syria, the Emergencies Ministry said.

"On instructions from the Russian government, the emergencies ministry will send two planes -- an Il-76 and a Yak-42 -- to [the Lebanese capital of] Beirut so that Russians could leave Syria," said Irina Rossius , a spokeswoman for the Emergencies Ministry.

Each plane can carry about 100 people, RIA Novosti reported.

Though the Russian Embassy in Damascus remains open, the country's Consulate General in Aleppo was closed last week amid fighting between insurgents and government forces, Novosti noted.

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