Dec 9, 2015 12:48 AM

Jordan disputes UN report of 12,000 Syrians stuck at border

The Associated Press

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) Jordan has disputed a U.N. report that 12,000 Syrian refugees have amassed in a remote desert area on the kingdom's border, waiting to be let in.

Government spokesman Mohammed Momani said late Tuesday that "the number is exaggerated," but did not give an alternative figure.

The U.N. 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.

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 says that "our borders are open for refugees" and that "we take care of humanitarian cases, particularly children and women."

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