Gunmen prevent Red Cross workers from entering Syrian refugee camp

17:01, June 30, 2011      

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The head of the Syrian Red Crescent said Wednesday that armed men prevented members of his organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross from entering a Syrian refugee camp on the Syrian side of the borders with Turkey.

Marwan Abdullah, told a Xinhua reporter who accompanied the group that "armed men prevented the Red Crescent and Red Cross from entering the camp and threatened to open fire at them."

The group intended to provide humanitarian assistance to the refugees who have fled violence in their homes in the northern Syrian province of Idleb.

Saleh Dabbakeh, spokesman of the Red Cross, told Xinhua earlier that the Syrian authorities agreed to provide facilities for the Red Cross to enter areas of unrest in Syria.

President of the Red Cross Jacob Kellenberger held talks earlier with Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar and Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem on the humanitarian situation in Syria and ways of helping people in the troubled areas.

The northern edge of Syria near the borders with Turkey has witnessed the fiercest clashes since the eruption of protests in mid-March.

The Syrian leadership has recently unleashed a full-scale army operation in the northern edge of Syria following the killing of 120 security agents by alleged armed groups and the discovery of three mass graves with mutilated bodies of army officers.

Army reinforcements were sent to the violence-hit area in response to the appeals by residents urging the army to interfere and put an end to the armed gangs, which, according to Syria's official news agency, have pushed the residents to flee to Turkey.

The Turkish authorities said the number of Syrians streaming into Turkey has reached nearly 12,700.

Source: Xinhua
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