AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A Jordanian official says there is a new surge in Syrians fleeing across the border to Jordan as fighting intensifies in southern Syria.

A government spokesman for Syrian refugee affairs told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Jordan now hosts 418,529 Syrian refugees.

Anmar Hmoud says 2,490 Syrians crossed into Jordan overnight, with the numbers averaging about 3,000 per night in recent days.

By the end of March, Jordan could have as many as half a million Syrian refugees.

Some of those coming through unofficial border crossings find shelter in Jordan’s Zaatari camp, now home to more than 105,700 refugees. Many more live among Jordanian families.

The camp has seen sporadic violent protests over its harsh desert conditions.

The UN says there are nearly 925,000 Syrians displaced throughout the region.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press