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Some 5,000 fleeing Syria every day: UN

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The number of Syrians fleeing their conflict-torn homeland has hit 5,000 a day, while overall numbers have risen by 25 percent in the past month alone, the UN refugee agency said Friday.

"Five thousand people are now crossing the border of Syria every single day," said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"We now have 787,000 refugees who are registered or are pending registration," he told reporters in Geneva, noting that the figures were still climbing.

The largest number have fled to Lebanon, which is hosting almost 261,000 Syrians, followed by Jordan, with close to 243,000.

Some 177,000 Syrians have fled to Turkey, and around 85,000 to Iraq.

In countries without a direct border with Syria, Egypt is the top destination, with 15,000, while another 6,300 are scattered across other North African nations.

Edwards said that overall, the refugee numbers had risen by a quarter in January, with an increase of 150,000 on the 600,000 recorded at the end of December.

The United Nations estimates that more than 60,000 people have been killed since the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began in March 2011.

jwf/nl/yad

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130208/some-5000-fleeing-syria-every-day-un