Saturday, January 25

Up to 30,000 flee into Lebanon

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GENEVA: Up to 30,000 Syrians have fled into Lebanon over the past 48 hours, the UN refugee agency said yesterday.

“Thousands of Syrians crossed into Lebanon yesterday. Reports vary between 8,500 and 30,000 people having crossed in the past 48 hours,” UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.

“People continue to arrive in Jordan, Turkey…they are flooding into Lebanon and increasingly into Iraq,” she said.

In Thursday’s fighting, more than 300 people were killed, the majority of whom were civilians, making it the heaviest toll yet in 16 months of fighting, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.

The release of the refugee figures came as the UN agency’s High Commissioner expressed concern for Syrians forced to flee and those displaced within the country’s borders. — AFP