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Originally published Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 2:41 AM

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Jordan fears refugee exodus if Syrian regime falls

Jordan's prime minister says the kingdom will shut its border with Syria in case of violence or a mass exodus of refugees if President Bashar Assad's regime collapses.

The Associated Press

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AMMAN, Jordan —

Jordan's prime minister says the kingdom will shut its border with Syria in case of violence or a mass exodus of refugees if President Bashar Assad's regime collapses.

Abdullah Ensour's remarks to reporters on Thursday reflect concerns of resources-barren Jordan, which is already hosting 285,000 Syrian refugees and has exhausted its meager health care, education, water and energy resources.

Ensour says that rather than taking in another "surge in the number of Syrian refugees when the regime collapses," Jordan would dispatch special forces to "secure safe havens for the Syrians inside their country."

Ensour did not speculate on the prospects of the fall of Syria's strongman but said Jordan has had "no contacts" with Assad's regime in recent weeks.

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