Europe

The Latest: UN cites reports of civilians killings in Aleppo

  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)

    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching through the streets of east Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)

    This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian troops and pro-government gunmen marching walk inside the destroyed Grand Umayyad mosque in the old city of Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. Government forces and rebel fighters have fought to control the 12th century mosque in the last four years, until Syrian troops seized control of it this week. Syrian rebels said Tuesday that they reached a cease-fire deal with Moscow to evacuate civilians and fighters from eastern Aleppo, after the U.N. and opposition activists reported possible mass killings by government forces closing in on the rebels' last enclave. (SANA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the Syrian conflict as the government is poised for the final sweep to retake the remaining rebel area of eastern Aleppo (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

The U.N. human rights office says it has received reports of Syria's pro-government forces killing at least 82 civilians as they entered the last remaining strongholds of the rebels in eastern Aleppo.

Spokesman Rupert Colville of the U.N. human rights office says the reports recount pro-government forces entering homes and killing some civilians "on the spot" in the former rebel enclave.

Colville spoke to reporters in Geneva on Tuesday.

He says 11 women and 13 children were among those reportedly killed in four neighborhoods of the increasingly-shrinking rebel enclave in the city of Aleppo.

Colville says the reports came in late the previous evening and that he doesn't know exactly when the killings took place.

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9 a.m.

The International Committee of the Red Cross is urging those fighting in Syria's Aleppo to do all they can to protect and spare civilian lives.

The ICRC says in a statement on Tuesday that thousands of people with no part in the violence "have literally nowhere safe to run."

The dramatic appeal came after Syrian military announced the previous day it gained control of 99 percent of the former opposition enclave in eastern Aleppo, signaling an impending end to the rebels' four-year hold over parts of the city.

ICRC says a deepening humanitarian catastrophe and further loss of life can be averted only if the basic rules of warfare — and of humanity — are applied.

Retaking Aleppo would be President Bashar Assad's biggest victory yet in the civil war.