Refugees have fled in their thousands from the conflict in Syria. Now the numbers have topped record figures.
Almost 3,000 crossed the border with Turkey on Thursday to the village of Bukulmez and that’s more than double the highest previous total for one day said a Turkish official.
There are fears that the approach to the agreed ceasefire on April 10th has led to the fighting intensifying. Eye witnesses claim the attacks have increased from the air and from ground troops. One reported soldiers executing a man in front of his family. Refugees from the region of Taftanaz spoke of what they saw.
“There are ten of us who have come here to visit our families,” explained one of them. “They have destroyed our homes. There are more than 270 martyrs in the region of Taftanaz. There are a lot of bodies under the rubble, we could not remove them, Taftanaz has been completely destroyed”.
Once the refugees crossed the border near the Turkish village of Bukulmez 44 minibuses ferried them to the refugee camp at Reyhanli.
Activists say at least 60 people were killed in shelling or shooting on Thursday by security forces, mainly in the central city of Homs and Idlib province in the north-west.
The clashes have added urgency to the diplomatic language. UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned the crisis is escalating while, as the deadline day of Tuesday approaches the UN has called on the Syrian government to, “urgently” implement the agreed ceasefire.