Jordan disputes UN report of 12 000 Syrians stuck at border

This satellite image shows the Rukban tent encampment for Syrian refugees at the border with Jordan. (AP)
This satellite image shows the Rukban tent encampment for Syrian refugees at the border with Jordan. (AP)

Amman - Jordan has disputed a UN report that said 12 000 Syrian refugees have amassed in a remote desert area on the kingdom's border, waiting to be let in.

Jordanian government spokesperson Mohammed Momani said late on Tuesday that "the number is exaggerated", but did not give an alternative figure.

The UN refugee agency says the number of refugees stranded on the border tripled to 12 000 since November because of intensifying fighting in Syria. It has appealed to Jordan to allow them to enter, saying lives are at risk.

Separately, the international group Human Rights Watch has released what it says are recent satellite images of the border area. The group says it counted 1 450 tent structures there, compared to 175 in April.

Jordan hosts 630 000 of the more than 4 million Syrian refugees. Since mid-2013, the kingdom has restricted the influx, citing among other things security concerns,

Momani said that Jordan's "borders are open for refugees" and that "we take care of humanitarian cases, particularly children and women".

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