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Syria closes border gate with Turkey


10:00, December 09, 2011

ANKARA, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Syria on Thursday closed one of its border gates with Turkey as relations of the two countries have been further strained, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.

Syrian officials claimed that the closure of the gate at the Nusaybin town of Turkey's southeastern province of Mardin was due to maintenance work.

"They have told us that they would open the gate once the maintenance was over," said Murat Girgin, an official of the town.

A group of around 100 people including Syrian nationals were denied entry into Syria's Kamisli town and was waiting on the Turkish side of the border, the official said.

On Nov. 30, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced a series of sanction measures against Syria, including a freeze on its government assets in Turkey, a blockade of weapons delivery through Turkey, a travel ban on Syrian leaders, and the suspension of relations between the Turkish and Syrian central banks.

Turkey, once a close ally of Syria, has gradually toughened its criticism of the Syrian administration for its alleged crackdown on protests. Turkish leaders have on many occasions called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end the crackdown and step down.

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