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ICRC concerned over South Ossetia

The Swiss-based International Committee of the Red Cross says it is worried about the humanitarian impact of violence in the breakaway South Ossetia region of Georgia.

This content was published on August 8, 2008 - 15:26

Georgia launched a massive attack on Friday to regain control of its renegade province, located on the country's border with Russia. Moscow backs the separatists, who have controlled the area since a war in the early 1990s.

"The humanitarian situation in the conflict zone has worsened dramatically," said Dominique Liengme, the ICRC's head of delegation in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.

"Ambulances are finding it hard to reach injured people and frightened residents are hiding in their basements, without electricity, water, communications or access to services."

The ICRC has urged the parties to the conflict to allow relief organisations unimpeded access to the affected areas and to enable medial personnel and ambulances to reach the sick and wounded.

It added that it was in contact with the both sides and was working to obtain a clearer picture of the humanitarian situation.

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