MIDDLE EAST

Hunger leads Syrian refugee to commit suicide

File Photo

A Syrian refugee woman is in critical condition after setting herself on fire at a refugee camp near the Jordanian border due to lack of enough food.

The suicide attempt took place at Al-Rukban refugee camp near Syria's border with Jordan as the woman helplessly watched her children starving, according to a local medic and spokesman at the camp.

"The refugee woman is suffering severe burns," medic Shukri Shihab told Anadolu Agency.

He said the woman has been transferred to Jordan for medical treatment.

Omar al-Homsi, a spokesman for the civil defense agency at the camp, said there were conflicting reports about the incident.

"Some suggest that she was injured in a fire at her tent, while others say she committed suicide," he said.

"Her brother in Syria's northern Idlib city confirmed that neither his sister nor nephews had anything to eat for the past two weeks."

Activists at the camp say that the refugee woman was a mother of three.

The woman's husband appeared in a video footage saying that his wife had committed suicide due to poverty and hunger.

"Our information shows that the woman's family is very poor and they had nothing to eat for the past two weeks," al-Homsi said.

In a statement issued late last year, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said six refugees, including five children, had died in Al-Rukban camp as a result of starvation, disease and lack of medicine.

It blamed the Syrian regime for the humanitarian crisis in the desert camp and accused the Jordanian government of banning the entry of humanitarian aid into the camp.

Located in the desert on the Syrian-Jordanian border, the Al-Rukban camp is home to nearly 60,000 refugees displaced by the ongoing conflict in Syria.

The Syrian regime has imposed a tight siege around the camp, triggering deteriorating humanitarian conditions for its residents.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

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