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Syrian Forces Kill 30 As Turkey Urges End To Crackdown


Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (left) meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Damascus on August 9.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (left) meets with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Damascus on August 9.

Syrian troops have reportedly killed at least 30 people and moved into a town near the Turkish border, even as Turkey's foreign minister pressed President Bashar al-Assad to end a bloody crackdown on protests against his rule.

Activists and witnesses said most of the deaths occurred when tanks and armored vehicles overran villages north of Hama. Four people were reported killed in Binnish, some 30 kilometers from the border with Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held six hours of talks with Syrian officials -- including two hours alone with Assad -- urging a stop to the bloody repression in which activists say at least 1,700 civilians have died.

Syria's official news agency, SANA, said Assad told Davutoglu, "We will not relent in pursuing terrorist groups."

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said that Turkey had "run out of patience" over the violence.

Turkey is a major Syrian trading partner, and the two countries share a 850-kilometer-long border.

On August 8, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain joined the growing international condemnation of the violence and recalled their ambassadors to Syria.

compiled from agency reports

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