Jakarta, 18 Muharram 1434/1 December 2012(MINA) – Syrian refugees are being shot at as they flee to neighbouring Jordan and many have to be treated in hospital on arrival, according to the UNHCR report received by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA), Saturday.
In its latest briefing on the Syria crisis, the UN refugee agency also said 250,000 people were living in temporary shelters in the flashpoint city of Homs, without adequate food, clothing or medicine as winter added to the misery of civil war.
“We have received very disturbing reports from Syrian refugees in Jordan who say they were targeted as they were fleeing. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) calls on all sides to ensure that at least civilians have access to safe passage outside the country,” spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told a news briefing in Geneva.
It was not clear who was taking aim at civilians as they ran for their lives under cover of darkness. “These reports are generally kept highly confidential, people are terrified. They don’t like having their stories told,” Fleming said.
Some families sedate their children during the journey to the border to keep them “calm and quiet”, Fleming said.
“Many children have not been to school for the last 18 months. Some city hospitals have been converted into communal shelters and 60 per cent of Homs doctors have left, along with other medical personnel. There are serious shortages of medicine and medical equipment,” she added.
More than 465,000 Syrians have registered as refugees in neighbouring countries and North Africa. Thousands more have not signed up for refugee status and assistance, the UNHCR says.
Nearly 138,000 are registered in Jordan, where the largest camp at Za’atri north of Amman houses more than 32,000. (T.R22/R-006)