Nearly 7,000 United Nations employees aiding Palestinian refugees began a three-day pay strike in Jordan, closing schools and clinics across the country. Matar Saqer, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency spokesman in Jordan, called Tuesday's strike "regrettable." He said a "skeletal staff" was available to deal with emergencies. Saqer said UNRWA workers demanded a 7 percent pay increase to match that recently obtained by Jordanian public servants because of rising inflation. Similar strikes last month forced the closure of 174 UNRWA-run schools responsible for educating 125,000 Palestinian children. UNRWA's 24 clinics were also closed.