Spike in Syria passport applications: Report

Syria`s passport office has recorded a sharp rise in applications since civil war broke out nearly four years ago, a pro-regime newspaper reported Wednesday.

Damascus: Syria`s passport office has recorded a sharp rise in applications since civil war broke out nearly four years ago, a pro-regime newspaper reported Wednesday.

"A thousand passport applications are being made a day in Damascus and its province, including 400 by people aged under 18," said a passport authority official quoted by Al-Watan daily.

In the past two months alone, 60,000 applications have been made, out of 160,000 since the start of 2014, the official added.

"All processes have been simplified in order to make it easier for citizens to obtain their passports," he said.

Al-Watan said the spike "shows that for many Syrians, leaving (the country) is the only solution," faced with a war that has killed more than 200,000 people.

One in two Syrians is unemployed and war has doubled inflation figures.

Nearly half the population have fled their homes, with more than three million Syrians registered as UN refugees in neighbouring states.

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