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Red Cross Chief To Visit Syria

A Turkish soldier stands guard outside of a refugee camp in the Turkish border town of Boynuegin on June 17.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says its president was due in Damascus to press Syrian leaders to allow access to all people affected by the country's festering violence.

The ICRC said in a statement that during his two-day visit, Jakob Kellenberger was to confer with Prime Minister Adel Safar, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, and Syrian expatriates.

It added that the talks would "focus on the humanitarian situation in Syria and on the role the ICRC is ready to play in order to assist people affected by the ongoing violence."

On June 18, Syrian Army tanks entered a village bordering Turkey, where 10,000 Syrians have sought refuge.

The Syrian Observatory website said that the violence had claimed the lives of 1,309 civilians and 341 security force members since it erupted in mid-March.

compiled from agency reports