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ICRC says Afghan violence is at its worst

The Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says violence in Afghanistan is preventing aid organisations from providing help.

According to the Swiss-run organisation, access to people in need is more difficult than at any point in the past 30 years, due to spreading violence.

"The proliferation of armed groups threatens the ability of humanitarian organisations to access those in need. Access for the ICRC has over the last 30 years never been as poor," said ICRC Afghanistan head Reto Stocker.

“The sheer fact the ICRC has organised a press conference... is an expression of us being extremely concerned  of yet another year of fighting with dramatic consequences for  an ever-growing number of people in by now almost the entire  country,” Stocker added, referring to the fact the organisation rarely makes public comments.

The local population has been affected more than in 2009 with 1,271 killed in the first six months of this year, 21 per cent more than the same period last year, according to United Nations figures.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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