UN: One million refugees have fled Syria

By REUTERS
March 6, 2013 09:14

 
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BEIRUT - One million people have fled Syria's civil war, piling pressure on the country's neighbors who are struggling to support them, the United Nations refugee agency said on Wednesday.

Around half the refugees are children, most of them aged under 11, and the numbers leaving are mounting every week, UNHCR added.

"With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster," UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement.

"We are doing everything we can to help, but the international humanitarian response capacity is dangerously stretched. This tragedy has to be stopped."

Nearly two years ago, Syrians started trickling out of the country when Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces started shooting at pro-democracy protests.

The uprising has since turned into an increasingly sectarian struggle between armed rebels and government soldiers and militias. An estimated 70,000 people have been killed.

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