Syrian ‘refugee numbers top 500 000’

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iol pic wld Mideast Syria~3 AP Syrian children play at a refugee camp near the Turkish border, in Azaz.

Geneva - More than half a million Syrian refugees are now registered or awaiting registration in the region, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday.

“According to UNHCR's latest figures for Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and North Africa, 509 559 Syrians are either already registered (425 160) or in the process of being registered,” UNHCR said in a statement issued in Geneva.

The number of registered Syrian refugees region-wide rose by about 3 200 per day in November, and close to 1 000 Syrians crossed i n to Jordan during the past two nights alone, it said.

Lebanon is now host to 154 387 registered Syrian refugees who have fled the 20-month-old conflict, Jordan has 142 664, Turkey 136 319, Iraq 65 449 and North Africa 11 740, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

In addition, large numbers of Syrians have crossed into neighbouring countries but have not yet come forward to register for refugee status and assistance, it said. They include about 100 000 in Jordan, 70 000 each in both Turkey and Egypt and tens of thousands in Lebanon, it said, citing government estimates. - Reuters

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