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Over 3,000 Syrians fled to Italy in 40 days: UN

Published: 14th September 2013 11:29 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th September 2013 11:29 AM   |  A+A-

By IANS

Around 3,300 Syrians have fled to Italy by boat in the past 40 days to escape the intensifying conflict in their homeland, a UN spokesperson said.

"The UN Refugee Agency is seeing a sharp increase in Syrians arriving by boat in southern Italy. Over the past 40 days, 3,300 Syrians, of whom more than 230 were unaccompanied children, have come ashore, mainly in Sicily," Xinhua quoted Farhan Haq, associate spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, as saying.

"Some 670 of these arrivals were during the past week," he said.

Most of the Syrian migrants were families with children, he said.

Many among them have needed medical treatment for dehydration and other health problems.

The UN Refugee Agency has estimated that about 4,600 Syrians have fled by boat to Italy since the beginning of 2013 and about two-thirds of that number arrived in August alone.

The majority of those Syrians set out from Egypt, while some started their journey from Turkey, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement.

At the end of August, the number of Syrians registered as refugees or pending registration stood at 200,000 in Iraq, 520,000 in Jordan, 720,000 in Lebanon and 464,000 in Turkey, according to UN estimates.

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