UNHCR says new Syrian visa rules blocking Iraqis from entering country

September 11, 2007 14:30

One of the last remaining routes for Iraqis trying to flee their country has effectively been closed off by new visa restrictions imposed by Syria, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday. Officials from the agency who visited the Iraqi-Syrian border Monday found the usually busy crossing virtually empty, said Ron Redmond, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "These visa restrictions have had a direct and immediate impact on the numbers of Iraqis crossing that border," he told reporters in Geneva. UNHCR estimates that about 2,000 Iraqis leave their homes every day due to violence and economic uncertainty resulting from the four-year conflict.

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