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EghtesadOnline: Rebel fighters and their families began leaving their last bastion in the Syrian city of Homs on Saturday, state media and a Reuters witness said, under an evacuation deal with the government that is expected to be the largest of its kind.

The first two buses carrying rebels and their families left al-Waer district in the morning, heading for other rebel-held areas in northern Syria. Homs governor Talal Barazi told Reuters 400 to 500 fighters would evacuate on Saturday, along with their family members, Reuters reported.

Under the agreement, more than 12,000 people would leave in batches over the coming weeks, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitoring group.

Syria crisis Syria's Homs