Syria:Evacuations Increasing in Ghouta

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian state media says more than 13,000 fighters, their family members, and other civilians have been bused out of a second pocket of the besieged eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus.

The SANA news agency says 6,749 people, among them 1,620 fighters, were taken out on buses from the towns of Arbeen, Ein Terma, Zamalka, and Jobar late on Monday.

Before them, 6,416 people had already left in the two previous days. Last week, 7,000 people were bused out of a separate pocket of eastern Ghouta.

The evacuations are part of an arrangement that has rebels surrendering the suburbs to the government after years of siege, and five weeks of particularly intensive bombardment.

Rebel fighters and civilians who want to leave are then being bused to rebel-held territory in north Syria.

(KA)