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Over three million fled Syria: UN

Posted on Aug 29 2014 | IANS

London, Aug 29 : The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Friday announced that over three million Syrians have been registered as refugees and the crisis is only getting worse, BBC reported.

The UNHCR said Syria is now "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era" with almost half of the Syrians forced to flee their homes.

It said one in every eight Syrians has fled across the border and a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria and half of them are children.

Families arriving at refugee camps in neighbouring countries are exhausted and scared, with some having spent a year or more fleeing from village-to-village inside Syria.

The majority of the refugees have fled to countries neighbouring Syria, with 1.14 million now seeking shelter in Lebanon.

The UN agency said the journey out of Syria is also becoming tougher, with many people forced to pay bribes to armed gangs.

The UN's deputy humanitarian chief, Kyung-wha Kang, said Islamic State was taking violence against civilians "to a new level" and threatening aid operations in Syria.

Opposition groups in Syria have been fighting forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad since his government suppressed protests against his rule in March 2011.

The situation has been worsened since June by the formation and advance of the Islamic State (IS) previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), which now controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

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