Some 240 people, mainly Christians, have been brought out of Syria’s second city of Aleppo and taken to Belgium, the government in Brussels says.

All the families had fled their homes and were at risk of repeated human rights abuse, a spokesman told the BBC.

Civil society groups helped take the families to safety in Lebanon.

Before the war, Aleppo had a Christian population of around 160,000, one of the biggest in the Middle East. Aleppo’s Chaldean Bishop said in May that only 60,000 may be left.

The refugees, who included Yazidis as well as Christians, were moved out along the only open road from Aleppo to the Lebanese border in an operation that took place over two months and amid great secrecy.