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Jordan policeman, two children hurt as Syrian refugees riot

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A Jordanian policeman and two Syrian children were injured on Sunday when refugees rioted at the Zaatari camp in northern Jordan, prompting police to use tear gas to disperse them, a government official said.

The unrest involving around 200 Syrians broke out after a visitor to the camp distributed money to the refugees, said Anmar Hmud, a government spokesman for Syrian refugee issues said

"A man from an Arab country gave away cash to the refugees in Zaatari. When he was done, a Syrian man approached him asking for money but the man had no more to give and the two began fighting," Hmud told AFP.

"After that around 200 refugees started rioting.

"Police intervened, using tear gas to disperse them after a policeman and two Syrian children were injured in the riots," Hmud added.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that "several refugees were wounded in clashes with Jordanian police after they protested against harassment by Jordanian drivers and police against Syrian refugee women."

But Hmud denied the report.

"It is not true. Also it is not true the rumor that the riots erupted after three Syrian refugee women left their tents in Zaatari and did return," he said without elaborating.

Since it opened in July, the Zaatari camp which houses more than 90,000 Syrian refugees has seen frequent protests, mainly over poor living conditions.

Earlier this month, Jordanian police fired tear gas to disperse refugees at Zaatari after they tried to attack the storehouse of a Norwegian charity as it gave away aid, injuring a policeman.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130224/jordan-policeman-two-children-hurt-syrian-refugees-riot