Jordan is hosting more than 150,000 Syrians
Syrians at the Zaatari refugee camp Win July 2012. Jordanian anti-riot police were called to quell a protest by angry Syrians at a refugee camp after they clashed with guards when they tried to leave the facility, a security official said. © Khalil Mazraawi - AFP
Jordan is hosting more than 150,000 Syrians
AFP
Last updated: August 13, 2012

Jordanian police disperse angry Syrians at desert camp

Jordanian anti-riot police were called in Monday to quell a protest by angry Syrians at a refugee camp after they clashed with guards when they tried to leave the facility, a security official said.

"Around 60 Syrians at the Zaatari refugee camp clashed with security guards when the group attempted to leave the camp and go back to the border town of Ramtha," the official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The desert Zaatari refugee camp, 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the kingdom's northern city of Mafraq, is now sheltering around 6,000 Syrian refugees.

"The Syrian refugees said they wanted to return to houses rented for them in Ramtha because they do not like how they live at the camp," the official said.

"Anti-riot police and Bedouin guards were called in to control the situation. No one was hurt."

Jordan is hosting more than 150,000 Syrians, most of them living in temporary residences in Ramtha, a town across the border from Daraa, or with relatives or friends elsewhere in the north.

The refugees have complained about hot weather, dust and lack of electricity in Zaatari, where average temperatures in the summer are around 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), while activists have said the camp "falls short of international standards."

But Jordan and the UN refugee agency UNHCR say limited resources and the continuous influx of refugees hamper their ability to cope with the crisis.

France has dispatched tonnes of aid supplies and medical equipment as well as a field hospital to the camp, while the United States, Britain, Canada and Germany have granted Jordan more than 135 million dollars to help it cope with the problem.

Jordanian Information Minister Samih Maaytah said on Sunday that tents in Zaatari would soon be replaced by caravans.

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