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UNHCR 'concerned' for civilian security in Syria's east

Syrian civilians wait to evacuate Arbin town of Eastern Ghouta to reach Hama on 28 March 2018 [Dia Al-Din Samout/Anadolu Agency]

The UN refugee agency on Friday expressed "great concern" for the security of thousands of civilians threatened by terrorist groups in eastern Syria, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a regular press briefing at the UN office in Geneva, Andrej Mahecic, a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman, said the armed conflict between YPG/PKK and Daesh terror groups in Deir ez-Zor province, eastern Syria, trapped thousands of civilians.

UNHCR reported that YPG/PKK forces did not permit transit of displaced civilians in Deir ez-zor, and confiscated identity documents.

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"We are also concerned for the situation for civilians who have managed to escape the armed conflict. The humanitarian situation in this part of Syria is now critical," Mahecic said.

According to the UN official, more than 10,000 people have fled the conflict zone for the al-Hol camp inside Syrian territory over the last week.

The conflict escalated in Hajin, Daesh's last stronghold in the province, in early December, forcing more than 23,000 people to fled to al-Hol, the UN spokesman said.

Many more civilians are expected to come to the region in the coming days.

At least 29 children lost their lives during their journey to the camp due to malnourishment and hypothermia since early December, Mahecic added.

International OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSyriaUN
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