June 26, 2018 / 9:30 AM / 2 months ago

45,000 have fled fighting in southwest Syria, figure could double - U.N.

GENEVA (Reuters) - At least 45,000 people have fled fighting in Syria’s southwestern Deraa province, heading towards the border with Jordan, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

People ride on a truck loaded with belongings in Deraa countryside, Syria June 25, 2018. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir

Jens Laerke, spokesman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that civilians including children had been killed and injured and a hospital had been put out of operation by an air strike.

Bettina Luescher, spokeswoman of the U.N.’s World Food Programme (WFP), told the same briefing: “We expect the number of displaced people could nearly double as violence escalates.”

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles

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