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March 10, 2014 AT 11:55 AM
Three northeastern provinces of Syria face an "alarming" food crisis, although access to relieve the impact of civil war has improved somewhat elsewhere, a U.N. aid agency said on Monday. Western powers and U.N. human rights investigators have accused the Syrian government of a policy of "starvation until submission" to punish tens of thousands of civilians in rebel-held areas. "We don't have total absolute numbers on deaths due to starvation. There are no massive indications of that. But there are certainly widespread (and) what I would call alarming nutritional indicators," Amir Abdulla, the U.N. agency's deputy executive director, told a news briefing in Geneva.