U.N. confirms evacuation of civilians underway from Ukraine's Mariupol

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Civilians who left the area near Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol walk at a temporary accommodation centre in Bezimenne

KYIV (Reuters) - The United Nations is conducting a "safe passage operation" for civilians from the Azovstal steel works in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on Sunday.

The operation began on April 29 and is being coordinated with the International Committee of the Red Cross, Russia and Ukraine, the spokesperson, Saviano Abreu, told Reuters.

He said the operation arrived at the steel works on Saturday morning. He added that no further details could be released so as not to jeopardise the safety of evacuees and the convoy.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)