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Too many attacks on trucks, Red Cross now dropping food aid to Darfur refugees

The Red Cross said Saturday it had begun airlifting food supplies to refugees in the violence-wracked Darfur region, saying a rising number of attacks on aid convoys made it too risky to move the food by road. Paul Conneally, spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said a chartered Russian plane had left Khartoum early Saturday carrying the first shipment of a planned 4,000 tons (metric tons) of food aid. The Red Cross plans to operate 12 flights a week for the next two months to Nyala and El-Fasher, Darfur’s main centers. From there, the supplies of sorghum, lentils and cooking oil will be trucked into rural Darfur where whole communities are in need of humanitarian assistance, the Red Cross said. In a statement, the Red Cross said the airlift had been prompted by dwindling food supplies and the growing number of people dependent on food aid. Full Story

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