Syrian refugees top 200,000 as exodus grows: U.N. agency

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 24, 2012 5:12 AM
Syrian refugees top 200,000 as exodus grows: U.N. agency

GENEVA (Reuters) - More than 200,000 Syrians have poured into neighboring countries during the conflict, already surpassing the projection of 185,000 set out by the U.N. refugee agency for the end of this year.

The total reflects an increase of some 30,000 in the past week alone to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, but also takes into account a change in the way the agency counts those in Jordan, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

"We are now at a much higher level of 202,512 refugees in the surrounding region," Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Geneva on Friday.

"In Jordan, a record 2,200 people crossed the border overnight and were received at Za'atri camp in the north," he said.

More than 3,500 people fleeing violence in Syria have entered Turkey over the past 24 hours, Turkey's Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate said on Friday, one of the highest daily refugee flows since the start of the uprising last year.

Edwards, referring to Lebanon where 51,000 Syrian refugees are now registered, said: "The deteriorating security situation in Lebanon is hampering our work to help refugees fleeing Syria's conflict, though operations are continuing."

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva and Jonathon Burch in Ankara; Editing by Alison Williams)