GENEVA - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday its aid workers had been forced to turn back on the way into the old city of Homs in Syria because of shooting but would try again later in the day to begin evacuating wounded and sick.

The independent aid agency said on Wednesday that Syrian forces and rebel militants had agreed to its request for a humanitarian truce to evacuate trapped civilians and the wounded after more than 10 days of intense fighting.

"An ICRC and Syrian Arab Red Crescent team was heading to the old city of Homs early this morning, however we had to turn back due to the shooting," ICRC spokesman Hicham Hassan told Reuters. "We will attempt to go back to the area today (Thursday) in order to evacuate persons wounded and sick, women and children."

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