Aid Workers Under Fire Again in Homs

Humanitarian aid workers struggled through gunfire to deliver aid and evacuate 611 starving civilians

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An U.N. World Food Programme worker is welcomed by a rebel fighter in Homs, Syria, on Feb. 8, 2014

U.N. aid workers have faced gun and mortar fire for the second day in a row as they struggle to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged Syrian city of Homs.

Aid workers using armored four-wheel-drive vehicles came under fire after crossing into the rebel-held old quarter of Homs, the BBC reports. The team managed to deliver 250 food parcels, 190 hygiene kits and chronic-disease medicine, aid workers said, and have managed to evacuate 611 civilians from the rebel-controlled center of Homs.

Opposition and government forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad agreed to a three-day cease-fire after talks last month in Switzerland, but violence has continued despite the agreement.

Four aid workers were wounded on Saturday when a convoy from the U.N. and the Syrian Red Crescent was attacked, but U.N. officials have said they will not be deterred by the violence in the key battleground city.