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UN says outbreak of clashes in blockaded area of Syrian capital have halted aid to thousands

This picture taken on Monday Feb. 24, 2014, and released by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), shows damage and debris on  one of the main streets of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, in Damascus, Syria. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Syrian government to authorize more humanitarian staff to work inside the country, devastated by its 3-year-old conflict. (AP Photo/UNRWA)

This picture taken on Monday Feb. 24, 2014, and released by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), shows damage and debris on one of the main streets of the besieged Palestinian camp of Yarmouk, in Damascus, Syria. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged Syrian government to authorize more humanitarian staff to work inside the country, devastated by its 3-year-old conflict. (AP Photo/UNRWA)  (The Associated Press)

A U.N. spokesman says the latest clashes that erupted in a blockaded area of the Syrian capital have disrupted efforts to distribute food to thousands of people there.

Chris Gunness issued a statement on Monday, calling on all warring parties in the city's Palestinian-dominated Yarmouk to "immediately allow" the resumption of aid to the area.

For nearly a year, forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have prevented food distribution and medical aid to tens of thousands of Yarmouk residents. As a result, over 100 people have died of hunger or hunger-related illnesses.

The U.N. began distributing food to Yarmouk in January but those efforts have been frequently hindered by violence.

Syrian officials and activists in Yarmouk say the latest clashes, which erupted on Sunday, are the most serious yet to bedevil truce efforts and food distribution.