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New clashes in blockaded area of Damascus halt aid

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DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A U.N. spokesman says the latest clashes that erupted in a blockaded area of the Syrian capital have put a stop to efforts to distribute food to thousands of people there.

Chris Gunness issued a statement today calling on all warring parties in the city's Palestinian-dominated Yarmouk to "immediately allow" the resumption of aid to the area.

For nearly a year, forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have prevented food distribution and medical aid to tens of thousands of Yarmouk residents. As a result, over 100 people have died of hunger or hunger-related illnesses.

The U.N. began distributing food to Yarmouk in January but those efforts have been frequently hindered by violence.

Syrian officials and activists in Yarmouk say the latest clashes, which erupted yesterday, are the most serious yet to bedevil truce efforts and food distribution.

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