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Africa drought worsens

SUFFERING: Mother cradles her child

VICTIMS OF the drought in Somalia are taking desperate measures to escape their suffering.

In a struggle to feed their families, it is has been reported that some fathers have resorted to suicide in a bid to escape the anguish of seeing their children starve.

Hassan Liban from British-based charity, Islamic Relief, recounted the horror of hearing that one man had slashed open his own stomach in a failed suicide attempt.

He told The Metro: “All his animals had died and his harvests run out, and he’d gone into a nearby town to beg but got no assistance.”

“He came back, took a knife and stabbed himself but didn’t die – people had to run and get help, then take him to a nurse.”

Charity workers say the victims’ desperation is more wretched because their actions run counter to their Muslim faith.

“Men are now abandoning their families because they’re no longer able to feed them – they just run away,” Mr Liban added.

The crisis, caused by the worst drought in more than 60 years, has left up to 10million people at risk of malnutrition.

Tens of thousands of Somalis are already feared dead; thousands more are crossing every day into Kenya or Ethiopia, placing extra pressure on over-crowded refugee camps there.

Aid workers fear the disaster could drag on well into next year.

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