BEIRUT (AP) — The Red Cross says it has evacuated29 patients and their families from a government siege on the suburbs of its capital, Damascus.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Friday that its staff, alongside Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers, have completed the evacuation of 17 children and 12 adults from the eastern Ghouta suburbs for urgent medical care in Damascus. It said the evacuations took three days.

The U.N. provided the government with a list of patients requiring evacuation from the Ghouta suburbs six months ago. The government refused to authorize any transfers until this week. In November, the U.N. said the list had reached 494 names, and 12 people had died waiting for care.

Pro-government forces are keeping the rebellious suburbs, home to nearly 400,000 people, under a tight blockade.