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Mass displacements in Syria, ICRC says

  |   May 8, 2012 at 1:29 PM
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GENEVA, Switzerland, May 8 (UPI) -- Tens of thousands of Syrians are displaced by a crisis entering its second year with few signs of relief, the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

The ICRC issued an appeal for $27 million to support its efforts in 2012 in Syria. Jakob Kellenberger, president of the ICRC, said there were "tens of thousands" of Syrians displaced by the violence.

The aid agency said while calm has returned to some parts of the country, there have been few signs of stability in other areas.

"Many people are still struggling just to make it through the day," he said in a statement. "Others are trying to rebuild their lives from scratch."

The Local Coordination Committees in Syria, an umbrella organization inside the country, said at least 20 people died in the violence Tuesday.

Damascus is accused of using a heavy hand against anti-government groups, though the Syrian government maintains it is dealing with domestic terrorists supported by foreign elements.

The country held parliamentary elections this week against a backdrop of violence. A spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said elections aren't genuine so long as violence continues in the country.

"Only a comprehensive and inclusive political dialogue can lead to a genuine democratic future in Syria," the statement read.

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