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UN Says Most Of Libya Cut Off From Humanitarian Aid

Libyan rebel fighters try to defend a gate of the north-central key Libyan oil town of Ras Lanuf as Muammar Qaddafi's loyalist forces approach their positions on March 10.
United Nations officials say most of Libya remains cut off from outside humanitarian assistance because of the conflict between Muammar Qaddafi's forces and antigovernment fighters.

Catherine Bragg, the UN's deputy emergency relief coordinator, is quoted as saying the UN has been having difficulty getting information about the humanitarian impact of the fighting, and medical needs are believed to be a major concern.

She said the UN has been receiving information about Libyan hospital closures amid the turmoil.

In a bid to assess the humanitarian situation, a UN team is expected to visit Libya in the coming days.

Bragg said the UN has been trying to establish a dialogue with all the Libyan factions to gain access to Libyan territory to assess humanitarian needs.

She added that some 250,000 people have fled Libya for neighboring countries since the conflict began, with most of them -- more than 137,000 -- going to Tunisia and more than 100,000 heading to Egypt.

compiled from agency reports