UN: 84 die fleeing ISIS in east Syria

Orient Net 2019-03-01 12:59:00

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At least 84 people, two-thirds of them young children, have died since December on their way to al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria after fleeing ISIS in the Deir-ez-Zor, the United Nations said on Friday (March 1), Reuters reported.

The United Nations is “gravely concerned” about the plight of thousands of civilians fleeing the last ISIS-held areas of Baghouz in rural Deir-ez-Zor province after intense fighting, Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told a news briefing.

Al-Hol camp, in northeastern Hasaka province, now holds at least 45,000 people, including 13,000 people who fled Deir-ez-Zor last week, he said.

“Many of them have arrived exhausted, hungry and sick,” he said, adding that nine out of 10 were women and children.

“It’s a very long, a very tiring journey to this camp, so far have reports of more than 84 deaths on that road, on that stretch of territory. Two-thirds of those who have died are children under five years of age,” Laerke said.

Some 175 children have been hospitalized due to severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening form of the disease, he said, citing reports from UN agencies and aid groups on the ground.