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Lebanon: ICRC delivers water and food to Nahr al-Bared camp

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Beirut_(dpa) _ The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Thursday managed to make its first delivery of water and food in a week to the Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon with the help of the Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC).

Muslim militants and the Lebanese army have been pitted in clashes at the camp since May 20.

"The ICRC managed to provide 800 litres of bottled water, one and half tons of bread and some fifty boxes of tinned tuna and soup," ICRC spokeswoman Samer Kadi said.

"The ICRC was loading a second convoy of six PRC ambulances this afternoon taking in further food supplies," she added.

Relief agencies have expressed concern that their missions are being delayed by unexploded ordnance and booby-trapped buildings inside the camp, as 5,000 people remain caught in the deadly stand-off between the military and Islamist militants.

"It is becoming extremely difficult to mount relief operations, not only because of the deteriorating security conditions, but also because debris, rubble and unexploded ordnance on the camp's roads are obstructing the way for ambulances and relief vehicles," said Jordi Raich Curco, the head of the ICRC delegation in Lebanon.

Meanwhile, foreign donors continued to answer to the appeal made by the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) earlier this week. The agency appealed for 12.7 million dollars to meet the humanitarian needs of over 35,000 Palestinians displaced from Nahr al-Bared.

The US State Department said it would provide 3.5 million dollars to the UNRWA, after Germany pledged 500,000 euros (672,000 dollars) for the displaced Palestinians earlier this week.

The US has also sent several military cargo planes from its bases in the Middle Eastern region to Lebanon over the past two weeks carrying ammunition and other undisclosed equipment to resupply the Lebanese army as part of a 280-million-dollar military aid package to Lebanon.

At least 108 people, including 48 soldiers, have been killed since the fighting erupted on May 20, making it Lebanon's deadliest internal violence since the 1975-1990 civil war. dpa wh gma

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