Jordan police kills Syrian refugee in Zaatari camp

Jordan police kills Syrian refugee in Zaatari camp
Sun Apr 6, 2014 09:53:21

At least one Syrian refugee has been killed in Jordan's sprawling Zaatari camp when clashes erupted between hundreds of refugees and security forces, residents say.

The residents said on Saturday that scores of refugees in the sprawling camp close to the Syrian border were injured as baton-wielding anti-riot police used tear gas to disperse refugees who set fire to official offices and caravans.

Jordanian police blamed agitators who were apprehended after trying to flee the refugee camp of nearly 70,000 residents. Authorities said at least 22 anti-riot police were hospitalized for treatment but denied any deaths occurred.

Residents say the rioting, the first such serious disturbance this year, was provoked when a Jordanian security officer ran over with his car and seriously injured a 4-year old Syrian child, prompting outrage by residents and relatives protesting ill treatment.

The camp witnessed almost daily protests over living conditions when it was first set up nearly two years ago but protests have since dwindled as UN agencies stepped up improvements in its infrastructure and services.

The United Nations says 2.5 million Syria refugees have registered in total, more than 10 percent of Syria's population. Jordan hosts at least 600,000 refugees with the rest mainly in Lebanon and Turkey.

Reports on the situation of the displaced Syrians at refugee camps in neighboring countries have consistently indicated cases of political, economic and ethical blackmail against the Syrian refugees, amid attempts to use their humanitarian issue to put pressure on the Syrian government.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

NTJ/HH

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