A handout photo obtained from the UNHCR on August 18, 2013 shows thousands of Syrians streaming across a bridge over the Tigris River and entering the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq on August 15. AFP PHOTO /HO / UNHCR / GALIYA GUBAEVA
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Thousands of Syrians fleeing civil war or planning to stock up on supplies crossed into northern Iraq at the weekend after Iraqi Kurdish authorities reopened a long-closed border, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday.On Sunday afternoon, authorities reopened the Peshkhabour border at the Tigris River, which had been closed since mid-September, allowing 2,519 Syrians to cross into the country by barge, UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.Iraqi authorities decided to close the border in September after facing an exodus of some 60,000 Syrians, UNHCR said.In total, more than 2.35 million people have fled across Syria's borders, while millions more have been displaced inside the country during the nearly three-year conflict.
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