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Clashes in northern Yemen blocks humanitarian aid: UN

(Xinhua)    10:48, November 07, 2013
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 6 -- Fighting between armed groups in northern Yemen has cut off humanitarian aid to thousands of civilians in the town of Dammaj, a UN spokesperson said Wednesday.

Three villages in the area have run short of food, water and medicine and the access was limited, acting UN deputy spokesman, Farhan Haq, said at a regular briefing, citing the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Aid agencies were concerned about some 29,000 people living in the Dammaj area in the remote northern Saada province, he said.

On Monday, the International Committee of the Red Cross entered the Dammaj area and evacuated 23 wounded people, but said there were others left in the town.

The latest bout of fighting between the Shiite Houthi rebels and Salafist militants in Saada erupted over a week ago despite government mediation efforts to shore up a cease-fire in place since late last year. The mountainous Saada province has long been outside the control of the central Yemeni authorities.

Currently some 13 million people -- more than half of the country's entire population -- require some forms of humanitarian aid, according to UN data. More than 1 million children under the age of five in Yemen are acutely malnourished, and nearly 300,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition, according to the OCHA.

(Editor:LiangJun、Zhang Qian)

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