by Staff Writers
Baghdad (AFP) Dec 8, 2012
More than 63,000 Syrian refugees have fled the bloody conflict in their home country for neighbouring Iraq, according to figures released by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on Saturday.
The intense fighting between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and rebels battling to overthrow him has sparked a huge exodus of Syrians to neighbouring countries.
There were 63,496 Syrian refugees in Iraq as of December 5, a weekly update released by the UN said.
Most of them -- 54,550 -- were in the three-province autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, while 8,852 were located in Anbar province in the west and 94 in other provinces.
The 21-month conflict in Syria has also seen tens of thousands of Iraqis who had fled to their country's western neighbour return home.
According to UN figures, 58,213 Iraqis have returned from Syria since July 18.
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