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Number Of Syrian Refugees Climbs Above 5 Million

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (right) talks to Syrian women and girls during a visit to the Zaatari refugee camp, which shelters some 80,000 Syrian refugees on the Jordanian border with war-ravaged Syria, on March 28.

The number of Syrians who have fled their country after six years of civil war has risen above 5 million, the UN's refugee agency says.

The UNHCR announced the milestone on March 30, a year after the international community pledged to "resettle and facilitate pathways for 500,000 refugees" to alleviate the burden on countries neighboring Syria.

But only half of those places have been allocated so far, a statement says.

The first three months of 2017 saw more than 250,000 additional Syrians registered as refugees, the UNHCR says, without providing an explanation for the surge.

Turkey continues to host the highest number of displaced Syrians -- nearly 3 million.

In addition to the 5 million men, women, and children who have fled the war in Syria, the UN agency estimates another 6.3 million people have been internally displaced.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, dpa, and Reuters