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Eastern Ukraine Separatists Ban Czech Aid Group

People in eastern Ukraine receive supplies from the Czech humanitarian organization People in Need (file photo)

A Czech-based humanitarian organization, People In Need, says it has been banned from operating in the Donetsk area of eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists there.

In a November 26 statement, the nongovernmental aid group said it was one of two international organizations that has been helping residents with home repairs, and with supplies of water and food, ahead of the coming winter.

The statement said "local authorities have taken immediate actions" to close the Donetsk region office of People In Need and have sealed off the warehouse where the group stores humanitarian aid there.

It said the separatists have also ordered all international aid workers to leave areas under their control within 24 hours.

The aid group said the banning order had been delivered to them on November 25.

It said a reason for the decision was not given.

People In Need says it has provided food to nearly 470,000 people in separatist-controlled areas of eastern Ukraine so far in 2016.

It says it has also provided material help or home repairs for more than 100,000 people.

The aid group said it is continuing to operate in the Luhansk separatist area of Ukraine as well as on government-controlled territory.

With reporting by Reuters
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