Jordan opens Syria refugee camp for 130,000 people

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In this Thursday April 17, 2014 photo, Syrian children play under the heat of the midday sun at Zaatari refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Jordan. Life in this sprawling camp, Zaatari, is only getting harder for 130,000 residents, most of them fleeing fighting in south Syria. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

In this Thursday April 17, 2014 photo, Syrian children play under the heat of the midday sun at Zaatari refugee camp, near the Syrian border in Jordan. Life in this sprawling camp, Zaatari, is only getting harder for 130,000 residents, most of them fleeing fighting in south Syria. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

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AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A U.N. official says Jordan is opening a new, sprawling tent city to accommodate tens of thousands more Syrian refugees who are expected to flee fighting as their nation’s civil war continues unabated.

Helene Daubelcour says Jordanian officials will open the Azraq refugee camp on Wednesday, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) from the Syrian border.

The United Nations says the camp will ultimately host 130,000 people, as many as there are now in Zaatari, currently Jordan’s largest camp.

Jordan already hosts some 600,000 Syrian refugees, forming 10 percent of the country’s population.

Syria’s conflict, now in its fourth year, has spawned a massive displacement crisis. There are nearly 2.7 million Syrian refugees, mostly in neighboring countries, and another 6.5 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes inside the country.

Associated Press

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