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UN: Syria Agrees to Relief Aid for 3 Besieged Towns

  • Ken Bredemeier

FILE - A woman is seen searching for food in a garbage container in Aleppo, Syria, July 31, 2013.

FILE - A woman is seen searching for food in a garbage container in Aleppo, Syria, July 31, 2013.

The United Nations says Syria has agreed to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid to three besieged towns in the war-torn country.

The U.N. says it intends to deliver relief aid to Fuaa, Kafraya, and Madaya where there are "credible reports of people dying from starvation."

The U.N. relief agency said Thursday Madaya last received assistance in October, but since has been inaccessible "despite numerous requests." It said a 53-year-old man died of starvation this week, with five other family members suffering from severe malnutrition.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have restricted access to Madaya and nearby Zabadani, while rebel forces fighting Assad's regime have surrounded Fuaa and Kafraya in northwest Syria.

Fuaa, Kafraya, and Madaya, SYria

Fuaa, Kafraya, and Madaya, SYria

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that at least 10 people have died in Madaya from a lack of food and medicine. It is a town of about 42,000 people, mostly civilians, not far from the Syrian capital, Damascus.

The U.N. relief agency says during the past year the Syrian government has granted only about 10 percent of the requests it has made to deliver relief aid to embattled areas. It said nearly 400,000 people live in 15 besieged locations in Syria who do not have access to life-saving aid.

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