The Syrian government have allowed around 480 school pupils to leave two besieged rebel-held towns near the capital Damascus in order to take their examinations, a monitoring group reported on Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that around 400 ninth-graders left on Sunday the besieged town of Maadamiyet al-Sham to sit year-end exams in regime-controlled areas.
Eighty more ninth-graders from the besieged town of Madaya were allowed into the nearby regime-held town of al-Rawda for the same reason, the Observatory added.
The temporary release was the result of an arrangement between the regime forces and local mediators, said the Britain-based watchdog, which relies on a network of activists inside Syria.
“Regime forces thoroughly searched students and escorted them to the examination centres,” the Observatory head Rami Abdel-Rahman said.
The students were subjected to the same measures before they were allowed back into their hometowns later on Sunday, he told dpa.
Maadamiyet al-Sham and Madaya have been for months under blockade by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Several Syrian areas have been besieged by government forces and rebels during the conflict, which started with peaceful pro-democracy protests in March 2011.