Jordan opens first tent camp for Syrian refugees
- Associated Press
- July 29, 2012 - 5:49 AM
ZATAARI, Jordan - Jordan says it has opened its first tent camp for Syrians fleeing violence in their country, saying a surge of refugees forced it to do so.
Authorities had been reluctant to set up the camps, possibly to avoid angering Syrian President Bashar Assad's autocratic regime by concentrating images of civilians fleeing his military onslaught.
But with 142,000 Syrians seeking refuge and their numbers growing daily by up to 2,000, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said Sunday that Jordan had no other choice. He spoke at the camp's opening ceremony in the hamlet of Zataari, about 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the northern border with Syria.
About of 500-700 refugees will be admitted to the camp after breaking the Ramadan fast later Sunday, the UNHCR representative to Jordan Andrew Harper said.
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