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Syrian Refugee Numbers Rise To More Than 500,000

A refugee boy walks through mud at a refugee camp in Atimeh, on the Syrian-Turkish border of the Idlib Governorate.
The United Nations' refugee agency says the number of Syrians who have fled violence in their country has risen to more than half a million people.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on December 11 that nearly 510,000 Syrians were either already registered or in the process of being registered in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, and North Africa.

It added that about 3,000 new people were seeking refugee status and assistance daily.

In addition, at least a quarter million more Syrians are reported to have crossed into Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon, but have not yet come forward to register for refugee status and assistance.

The latest refugee figures come as fighting continues unabated inside Syria between rebels and government forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa