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UN worried about 89 Palestinians in no man's land

Written by: Staff
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GENEVA, Mar 22 (Reuters) The United Nations expressed concern on Tuesday about the fate of 89 Palestinians, nearly half of them children, who fled Baghdad and have been stuck in no man's land since Sunday after Jordan closed its border.

The group, which also includes two elderly people and three with medical problems, was in an ''extremely precarious situation'' in the harsh desert climate, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said yesterday.

''We understand the group has little shelter and meagre food supplies. UNHCR's ability to protect and assist these refugees is extremely difficult because of our limited access to the border area,'' spokeswoman Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing.

Witnesses said that Jordanian authorities, fearful of a large influx from among the 34,000 Palestinian refugees estimated to be living in Iraq, closed the border on Sunday after a busload of Palestinians arrived.

Hundreds of Iranian Kurds and Palestinians lived in no man's land for more than two years after the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003. The camp was closed in May 2005, but UNHCR said on Tuesday that some 200 Iranian Kurds remain on the Iraqi side of the no man's land, but they were difficult to reach.

REUTERS PR RN0857

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