POSTED: 2:39 a.m. HST, Feb 26, 2012
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan says it now hosts over 80,000 Syrian refugees who have fled 11 months of violence in their homeland.
Information minister Rakan al-Majali said Sunday that 73,000 refugees have entered the country legally from Syria across Jordan's northern border.
The interior ministry said last week that another 10,000 Syrians, including officers in the security forces, have slipped across through unofficial channels.
The refugees fleeing the crackdown by Syria's President Bashar Assad receive considerable sympathy. Many are hosted by Jordanian families and receive assistance from the government, private groups and the U.N.'s refugee agency.
The kingdom is estimated to have hosted nearly one million Iraqis during the height of the country's violence in 2003-2008.