Last updated: 8 January, 2013

Jordan aid workers hurt in Syrian refugee stampede

Humanitarian workers distributing aid to Syrian refugees in northern Jordan after destructive rains were injured in a “stampede” on Tuesday, officials said.

“Refugees started to push each other as they ran towards the aid workers. They hurled stones at each other and there was a stampede, which hurt some aid workers,” Anmar Hmud, a government spokesman for refugee affairs, told AFP.

“At least one of the aid workers was taken to hospital.”

The incident occurred as aid workers were helping some of the 62,000 Syrians sheltering in the Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan near the Syrian border, where hundreds of tents have been destroyed by two days of heavy rains.

“Bad weather and heavy rain in the past two days have affected 500 tents in Zaatari,” Ali Bibi, in charge of cooperation and international relations at UN refugee agency UNHCR, told AFP.

“We are now are working with the Jordanian government to move hundreds of refugees to caravans.”

There are 4,000 caravans and 4,500 tents at the six month old camp, which has seen several protests by refugees against poor living conditions, including a lack of electricity.

Jordan, which says it is hosting more than 290,000 Syrians, suffers bad weather in winter, including the torrential downpours seen in recent days.