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WASHINGTON // The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees announced on Monday that it had referred its 50,000th Iraqi for resettlement. Buried in the press release is the story of another refugee facing a horrible dilemma.

The woman, identified as "Reem," fled Iraq for Damascus with a two-year-old daughter after her husband and another infant daughter were abducted by masked men in Baghdad. The release says she has paid US$3,000 trying to find out what happened to them, to no avail.

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Now she has been accepted for resettlement to the United States. She cannot decide between continuing to look for her loved ones or moving on. She has until early next week to accept resettlement.

"Sometimes I wish the monsters that did this to my little baby and my husband would call me to tell me they are both dead so that I could leave," she says. "I'm so tired, so very tired of hoping."

The UNHCR release, which was written by the helpful Carole Laleve, identifies the 50,000th Iraqi referred for resettlement as "Mohamed," a Baghdadi in Aleppo, Syria, who was recommended last month for resettlement in Sweden.

"I felt that our suffering had been acknowledged, and that was important to me," he says.

UNHCR referred 50,996 Iraqis for resettlement from January 2007 through the end of last month. Roughly 22,400 have been resettled – most of them in the United States, but also in Canada, Australia, Sweden and other European countries.

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