Over 2,500 Syrians cross into Turkey: official
ANKARA - Agence France-Presse
More than 2,500 Syrians fled to Turkey overnight amid escalating clashes in strife-torn Syria, a Turkish official told AFP today.
The latest arrivals brought the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey to some 53,000, said the official from the country's Disaster and Emergency Administration.
He declined to give an exact number of Syrian refugees in Turkey, saying that people continued to arrive and the security measures taken at the gates were slowing down entries.
Turkish media reported that some 3,000 refugees were lined up at the border gates because of lack of space in Turkish camps to accommodate the newcomers.
Speaking to AFP, the Turkish official denied the media reports and said there were two other camps in the Sanliurfa and Gaziantep provinces near the Syrian border to accommodate the refugees.
"We have camps in the Akcakale and Karkamis towns near the border which are each able to host 10,000 Syrians," said the official.
This week has seen a marked increase in the number of refugees making their way to Turkey amid the battle between regime forces and rebels for Syria's northern city of Aleppo. Turkey is sheltering thousands of refugees in its camps in the southern part of the country and also providing sanctuary to Syrian military defectors in a separate camp near the border where security is tighter.