Winter starvation strikes Syria, over 23 dead in Madaya
Starving protesters in Madaya, Syria, implore the UN to take action. (Twitter)
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Twenty-three people died of starvation last month in the blockaded town of Madaya northwest of Damascus, a new report revealed.
Madaya residents lack many basic needs after being victims of an ongoing blockade by the Assad regime and the Hezbollah Shia militia, which planted landmines around the town.
According to the Madaya health committee report, six children were among the victims in December.
Eight other people were killed by landmines as they tried to escape the town, which has been under siege for 190 days so far, the report added.
Living conditions in the town further deteriorated as winter set in. Electricity is non-existent and many people use what is left of their destroyed homes for heating purposes, the report said.
Local sources said food prices were up dramatically since the regime’s blockade began. A kilogram of rice reportedly costs around $115 now.
Samir Tateen, a local member of the Syrian coordination committee, said around 70 people have died of starvation and another 50 have passed away of various diseases in the past six months.
Some 4.5 million people live in hard-to-reach areas across Syria, with nearly 400,000 of them in besieged zones with little or no access to basic supplies or assistance, according to UN figures.