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Syrian troops enter Old City of Homs as last batch of rebels waits to be evacuated

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    Two Syrian national flags hang on a pole as government officials inspect damages in the old city of Homs, Syria, Thursday, May 8, 2014. Hundreds of exhausted Syrian rebels withdrew Wednesday from their last remaining strongholds in the heart of Homs, surrendering to President Bashar Assad a bloodstained city that was once the center of the revolt against him. For Assad, it is a powerful victory ahead of presidential elections. For the rebels, the dramatic exit after two years of enduring grueling assaults and siege captures their sense of abandonment amid world reluctance to help shift the balance of power on the ground. (AP Photo)The Associated Press

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    Syrian government forces inspect damages in Homs, Syria, Thursday, May 8, 2014. Carrying their rifles and small bags of belongings, hundreds of exhausted Syrian rebels withdrew Wednesday from their last remaining strongholds in the heart of Homs, surrendering to President Bashar Assad a bloodstained city that was once the center of the revolt against him. (AP Photo)The Associated Press

Syrian government troops have entered the last rebel-held districts of the Old City of Homs for the first time as part of a deal that also has granted opposition fighters safe passage out of the city.

Homs Gov. Talal Barazi said that engineering units were combing the old neighborhoods of the city, including the former opposition stronghold of Hamidiyah, in search of mines and other explosive devices to dismantle.

Some 1,700 rebels have left Homs since Wednesday under the deal struck by the government and opposition.

However, the evacuation of the last batch of fighters was still up in the air Friday after opposition fighters in northern Syrian prevented aid from reaching besieged pro-government villages.

The aid delivery to Nubul and Zahra was part of the Homs evacuation agreement.