UN: Syrian population on decline in besieged areas

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The population in hard-to-reach and besieged areas in Syria decreased due to "horrific battles" in heavily populated areas, the UN humanitarian adviser for Syria said on Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva, Jan Egeland said: "As we look back one year ago, there were 4.6 million people living in hard-to-reach areas and 625,000 people in besieged areas.”

“Today, two million people live in hard-to-reach areas, less than half, and 11,000 people live in the besieged areas,” he said.

"This comes at the cause of horrific battles in heavily populated areas," Egeland added.

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011 when the regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

According to UN officials, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict to date.

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