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Turkey Raises Alarm Over Syrian Refugees

A picture released on April 6 by the opposition Local Coordination Committees in Syria (LCC) purportedly shows people standing around a mass grave in the town of Taftnaz.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said his country might need United Nations' help if more Syrian refugees arrive in Turkey.

Davutoglu said he spoke to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to inform him after 2,500 refugees crossed into Turkey during the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number there to nearly 24,000.

In Syria, activists said government troops shelled restive areas, and sent tanks and snipers into battle against rebels in Damascus suburbs.

Clashes and shelling were also reported in the southern province of Daraa, the northern Idlib Province, and the central city of Homs.

The offensive is an apparent attempt to crush pockets of rebellion less than a week before an internationally sponsored cease-fire is to go into effect.

Meanwhile, a UN team held negotiations in Damascus on the deployment of monitors to supervise the April 10 deadline for the withdrawal of forces.

According to a peace plan outlined by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, both sides should observe a cease-fire within 48 hours of April 10, paving the way for talks to end the bloody yearlong conflict.

Annan told the UN General Assembly on April 5 that there were fresh reports of "alarming" casualties in Syria.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, Reuters, and dpa

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