U.N. Estimates 40,000 Have Fled Heavy Fighting In Eastern Syria

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February 15, 2013 9:03 PM EST

 An estimated 40,000 people have fled a town in eastern Syria after three days of heavy fighting, the United Nations food agency said on Friday.

The World Food Programme said it had delivered additional rations to the area in recent days, adding: "A WFP team visited the area and estimated that around 40,000 people have fled al-Shaddadeh to al-Hassakeh city."

Rebels seized al-Shaddadeh in Syria's oil-producing east on Thursday after the fighting which killed 30 of their fighters and 100 Syrian troops, a violence monitoring group said.

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