Nearly 10,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey: source

AFP , Friday 17 Jun 2011

Turkish authorities say that at least 10,000 Syrians refugees crossed the border to Turkey

Nearly 10,000 Syrians have crossed the border into Turkey fleeing a crackdown by the Damascus regime, an official source said Friday.

About 1,200 arrived overnight Thursday to Friday bringing the total of refugees under Turkish protection to 9,700, the source said.

The refugees are being settled in camps set up by the Red Crescent in Turkey's southern province of Hatay.

Turkish authorities have barred all outside access to the refugees staying in the tent city.

But screen idol Angeline Jolie was expected to visit the camp Friday in her capacity as goodwill ambassador for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN refugees agency.

According to authorities, the refugees receive three meals a day, hot water, and access to household equipment like washing machines and televisions.

Arabic-speaking psychologists, imams and child care workers have been sent to the camp said the source. A mobile hospital for the lightly wounded has also been provided.

The crackdown on protesters by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has killed 1,200 people and 10,000 others have been detained, according to rights groups and the United Nations.

Thursday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey would keep its borders open to Syrians fleeing the violence and supply humanitarian aid to the thousands of people massed just across the border in Syria itself.

Many come from Jisr al-Shughur, a flashpoint of the anti-government uprising 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Turkish border that was pounded by Syrian regime troops.

Turkey has toughened its stance against Assad's government and Erdogan said Syrian troops were guilty of atrocities.

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