AFP – About 6,850 people fleeing violence in Libya arrived in Tunisia between Monday and Tuesday morning, the Tunisian defence ministry said, as NATO forces intensified air attacks on Tripoli.
Libyans made up the bulk of the new refugees, the ministry said, putting the number at 6,011.
About 500 families have been housed in a Qatar-run camp in southern Tataouine, Colonel Mokhtar Ben Nasser told reporters.
They were fleeing the increase in bombings and a rebel advance on Tripoli that sparked fears of more violence, a Tunisian military official at the Ras Jedir border post said.
"In Tripoli, bombings continue and pro-Kadhafi militia are patrolling districts suspected of hiding opponents," one of the Libyans told AFP without giving his name.
A Libyan policeman said however the sudden increase of the refugees was related to the start of school holidays in Libya.
According to Tunisia's interior ministry, more than 70,000 Libyans fled to the country since an anti-Kadhafi uprising began in February.
About 20 loud explosions were heard Tuesday in the Libyan capital, where several houses belonging to embattled leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi were hit, an AFP reporter said.
The assaults were one of the heaviest daytime bombardments since the NATO-led air strikes began in mid-March.