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Five days before a deadline to implement a ceasefire, Syria is driving its population into Turkey at an unprecedented rate.
The Turkish government said today that refugees on Wednesday began fleeing Syria at a rate of almost a hundred people every hour, with 2,350 fleeing in 24 hours, according to Reuters.
The number was more than twice the previous one-day high of 1,000 that was recorded on March 15.
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With days to go before a ceasefire is due to take effect, the Syrian government has intensified its year-long crack down against a popular uprising, continuing its bombardment of cities across the country.
According to Reuters, refugees are crossing the border close to the Turkish village of Bukulmez. The news agency reported that villagers on the Turkish side of the border claimed they could hear heavy fighting all day long.
Turkey has said an exodus of refugees or massacres of civilians could force it to intervene and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has suggested the possibilities of buffers, or “safe” zones along the border.
"We will see by what he does only after April 10 if he is being true and honest now," Erdogan was quoted as saying in reference to a deadline set by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan for Syrian troops to withdraw from conflict cities and comply with his peace plan.
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The UN Security Council today called on Syria to implement Annan’s peace plan “urgently and visibly,” according to the BBC.