Jordan: Desert patrol force to cordon refugee camp

  • Article by: DALE GAVLAK
  • Associated Press
  • March 20, 2013 - 4:32 AM

AMMAN, Jordan - A Jordanian official says the kingdom's desert patrol force is putting a cordon around a sprawling desert camp that houses over 100,000 Syrian refugees.

Anmar Hmoud, a government spokesman for Syrian refugee affairs, said Wednesday that the Badia force recruited from Bedouin tribes will set up the cordon on Zaatari camp's periphery to ensure the refugees' safety. He did not say what specific measures they would use.

He says it will prevent unauthorized exit by refugees or entry by locals. Reports have emerged from Zaatari of often-impoverished refugees engaging in drug trafficking, prostitution and other crimes.

Hmoud said Zaatari hosts 137,595 of more than 450,000 Syrian refugees sheltering in Jordan.

Last week, UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said his agency was working with Jordan to bolster security at the camp.

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