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Nearly 9,000 Syrians flee to Jordan in six days: govt

jordenqwAMMAN: Nearly 9,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, fled to Jordan over the past six days to escape the bloodshed in their homeland, a government spokesman told AFP on Sunday.


"Some 8,835 Syrians fled to the kingdom since January 1 this year," said Anmar Hmud, a government spokesman for Syrian refugee affairs.


"Most of them are women and children who came from Syrian southern areas, including Daraa."


Hmud said Jordan is now hosting around 290,000 Syrians, including more than 62,000 in the Zaatari desert refugee camp near the border.


A Jordanian security source meanwhile said without elaborating that, "1,800 Syrian military personnel have sought refuge in Jordan since the crisis began in 2011."


Hundreds of Syrians cross the border daily into Jordan, fleeing the fighting between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels.


At least 60,000 people have been killed in 21 months since an anti-regime revolt erupted in March 2011, according to UN figures.


The United Nations has predicted the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries will double to 1.1 million by June if the civil war does not end.


Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013


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