Printed on: September 25, 2013

Mass starvation feared amid Syria fighting

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian opposition groups and international relief organizations are warning of the risk of mass starvation across the country, especially in the besieged Damascus suburbs where a gas attack killed hundreds last month.

With the world's attention focused on the regime's chemical weapons, activists said six people -- including an 18-month girl -- have died for lack of food in one of the stricken suburbs in recent weeks.

Save the Children said Monday that more than 4 million Syrians, more than half of them children, do not have enough to eat. Food shortages have been compounded by an explosion in prices.

Thousands of people are believed trapped in suburbs east and west of the capital that have been held for months by rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad. Regime troops are besieging the areas, and residents say food is increasingly hard to find. Rebels say they are trying to break the blockade.