GENEVA: The U.N. refugee agency says 100,000 refugees fled Syria in August alone, the highest monthly total since the uprising began.
Spokeswoman Melissa Fleming says the rise in people seeking asylum in neighboring countries brings the total of Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration with her agency to 234,368 as of September 2.
Fleming told reporters Tuesday in Geneva that "when you do the math, it's quite an astonishing number."
Activists say some 5,000 people were killed in August, the highest toll in the 17-month-old uprising and more than three times the monthly average. The U.N. children's agency says 1,600 were killed last week alone, also the highest figure for the entire revolt.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees have raised their total death toll to between 23,000 and 26,000.