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July 21, 2012 12:00 am

Thousands of Damascus Residents Flee into Lebanon

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Syrian wait for humanitarian aid at the border with Lebanon in February, 2012. Photo:

NY Times – Thousands of people were fleeing Damascus and heading into Lebanon on Friday, according to the United Nations refugee agency, as rebels described the country’s bloodiest fighting in the 17-month uprising.

Between 8,500 and 30,000 Syrians have crossed into Lebanon in the last 48 hours, an agency spokeswoman, Melissa Fleming, said at a news briefing in Geneva. The new flood adds to an exodus of more than 112,000 who have already registered as refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan, and many thousands more who have fled but not registered. United Nations relief agencies say three-quarters of them are women and children, often arriving in a desperate state with no more than the clothes they are wearing. Internally, as many as a million people have been displaced, according to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

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