UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Hundreds are missing after crossing from the rebel-held eastern area of Aleppo, Syria, to the government-controlled area, a United Nations spokesman said Friday.
Another approximately 100,000 still in the eastern end of the city are in jeopardy as Syrian government troops have pushed their way eastward into areas formerly held by opposition groups, Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said in Geneva, Switzerland.
"We believe there may currently be around 100,000 civilians in areas under the control of armed opposition groups in eastern Aleppo, with another 30,000 believed to have fled to areas under government control. We have received very worrying allegations that hundreds of men have gone missing after crossing into government-controlled areas."
Colville added that opposition forces and what remains of the general population are being squeezed into ever-shrinking areas of the city, as the Syrian forces, which have been aided by Russian airstrikes, concentrate firepower and slowly take over the city. He also said families reported losing touch, over the past 10 days, with men ages 30 to 50 as Syrian troops pushed into rebel-held areas of Aleppo.
Witnesses said shelling of the city by Syrian forces continued Friday, CNN reported. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Thursday in Hamburg, Germany, announced the Syrian army stopped military operations and began the "largest ever evacuation of eastern Aleppo residents," but Friday told reporters the bombardment of the city would proceed "until the bandits leave east Aleppo."