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Jordan: Syria refugee influx surges nearly tenfold

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Monday, September 16, 2013 - 9:02 am

AMMAN, Jordan — A Jordanian official says the number of Syrian refugees crossing into the kingdom has jumped nearly tenfold last week to an average of 900 people per day, its highest level in months.

Col. Zaher Abu-Shehab, who oversees refugee camps for the Jordanian government, says at the same time the number returning home has also surged, climbing to 600 per day.

Syrian families often move back and forth across the border multiple times as fighting ebbs and flows. Many find conditions in desert refugee camps to be only marginally better than their battle-scarred homes.

Refugee arrivals were high early this year but dwindled to an average of 100 per day in May and thereafter, Abu-Shehab said.

Jordan is the second largest host of Syrian refugees after Turkey, sheltering more than 560,000.