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Red Cross Convoy Arrives In Devastated Syrian City; Not Yet In Baba Amr

After weeks of shelling and sniper fire from Syrian Army forces, the people who remain in the Baba Amr district of the city of Homs may finally get some aid from the outside world today.

Reuters reports that a Red Cross convoy is now in Homs and is preparing to enter Baba Amr. Before today, the Syrian government had blocked any such assistance during its crackdown on those who have been protesting against the regime of President Bashar Assad — a crackdown that the U.N. estimates has left more than 7,500 people dead.

This follows, as we reported Thursday, the retreat of anti-Assad regime fighters from the area.

Update at 11:15 a.m. ET. Will Aid Get To Baba Amr Today?

The Associated Press just reported that the "Red Cross says Syrian government blocks aid convoy from entering Baba Amr district of Homs."

In related news:

-- The Associated Press reports that "two French journalists who were trapped in the besieged Syrian city of Homs were on Thursday evacuated to Lebanon, where the French government was preparing to fly them home."

-- The bodies of two other journalists killed in Homs — American Marie Colvin and Frenchman Remi Ochlik — are reportedly going to be handed over to Polish diplomats. Update at 12:05 p.m. ET: The Associated Press reports that "the International Committee of the Red Cross says it now has the bodies of two foreign reporters killed in Syria and is taking them to Damascus."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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