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Fri 24 Aug 2012 01:33 PM

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Syrian refugees now top 200,000, says UN

Total reflects an increase of some 30,000 in the last week alone to neighouring countries

Syrian refugees now top 200,000, says UN
Syrian refugees walk on June 20, 2012 at the Kilis refugee camp near the Syrian border. (AFP/Getty Images)

More than 200,000 Syrians have poured into neighbouring countries during the conflict, already surpassing the projection of 185,000 set out by the UN 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 UN 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."

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