Hundreds of people displaced by three years of violence in central Homs returned for the first time Friday, as the Syrian army regained control, said an AFP correspondent at the scene.
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Men, women and children returned together to see what remained of their homes. Many were shocked and some had tears in their eyes, as they climbed over debris to inspect the ruins in their battered neighbourhoods, said the journalist.
"I had seen on Facebook that my home had been destroyed, but I couldn't believe it. I wanted to see it with my own eyes," said Jaqueline Fawwas, a 30-year-old woman returning to the Old City.
A 45-year-old who returned with her husband and did not identify herself said: "I came to check on my house, but I couldn't find it. I didn't find a roof, I didn't find walls. I only found this coffee cup, which I will take with me as a souvenir."