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Sharp rise in number of people fleeing Chechnya

UNHCR reports sharp rise in number of people fleeing fighting in Chechnya

21 March -- A new census carried out jointly by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Danish Refugee Council shows that the number of people who have fled from Chechnya to Ingushetia is higher than originally estimated, a UNHCR spokesman said in Geneva today.

According to the count, Ingushetia now hosts 214,000 people displaced from Chechnya, he said, up from some 185,000 registered two weeks ago.

The survey also indicated that the number of people fleeing Chechnya is increasing again, a finding supported by the events of the past several days when UNHCR reported a sharp rise in departures.

On Monday, 500 newly displaced people arrived in Ingushetia, having fled continued fighting in the districts of Shatoi and Urus-Martan, according to the agency.

Meanwhile, another UNHCR convoy arrived in Ingushetia's capital Nazran today, comprising 15 trucks of food and medicine donated by several different agencies.

ENDS

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