FILE - In this Monday, Jan. 11, 2016 file photo, people wait to leave the besieged town of Madaya, northwest of Damascus, Syria, where Doctors Without Borders says dozens of people have died of starvation since September. (AP Photo, File)
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More than one million Syrians are trapped in besieged areas, a new report says in a challenge to the United Nations, which estimates just half that amount and has been accused by some aid groups of underplaying a crisis.The Siege Watch report says 1.09 million people are living in 46 besieged communities in Syria, far more than the 18 listed by the U.N. It says most are besieged by the Syrian government in the suburbs of Damascus, the capital, and Homs. In the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, about 200,000 people are besieged by both the ISIS group and the Syrian government. The report lists two communities besieged by armed opposition groups. Syria Institute executive director Valerie Szybala said the new report has not been shared with Syria's government.The aid group Doctors Without Borders goes well beyond the figure in the Siege Watch report, estimating that 1.9 million Syrians live in besieged areas.
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