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UN Delivers Aid to Ivorian Refugees in Liberia

Arrival of UNHCR airlift of non food items for Ivorian refugees in Monrovia, 30 January 2011.

The U.N. refugee agency has sent emergency aid to the growing number of refugees from Ivory Coast who have crossed into Liberia to escape unrest in their homeland.

The U.N. says a plane it chartered has landed in Liberia's capital, Monrovia, with an 83-ton aid shipment including blankets, plastic mats, kitchen sets, tarpaulins and cans for storing and transporting liquids.

An estimated 31,000 Ivorian refugees have arrived in Liberia since late November. A U.N. supply officer Yohannes Hailu Guebre-Mariam says the latest flight - the second U.N. shipment in recent weeks - means the refugee agency has a stockpile large enough to support up to 50,000 refugees.

The U.N. says at least 260 people have been killed in Ivory Coast in violent clashes since the West African nation's disputed presidential election.

Laurent Gbagbo, who has ruled Ivory Coast as president for the past 10 years, insists he won the November election, but the United Nations, African Union and United States all recognize his rival Alassane Ouattara as the winner.