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Syrian refugees pour into Turkey

GUVECCI, Turkey -- Syrians streamed across the border into Turkey Monday, finding sanctuary in refugee camps ringed by barbed wire and offering a frightening picture of life back home, where a deadly crackdown on dissent is fueling a popular revolt.

Turkey's prime minister has accused President Bashar Assad's regime of "savagery," but also said he would reach out to the Syrian leader to help solve the crisis. Still, many of the nearly 7,000 refugees in Turkey say they expect their government to inflict only more violence and pain.

Refugees poured across the border to flee a crackdown Sunday that sent elite forces backed by helicopters and tanks into Jisr al-Shughour, a northern town that spun out of government control for a week. Troops led by Assad's brother regained control of Jisr al-Shughour on Sunday, and residents ran for their lives.

In Guvecci, two Syrians gave a bleak picture of life across the frontier. "There are 7,000 people across the border, more and more women and children are coming toward the barbed wires," said Abu Ali, who left Jisr al-Shughour. "Jisr is finished, it is razed."

Turkey and Syria once nearly went to war, but they have cultivated warm relations in recent years, lifting travel visa requirements for their citizens and promoting business ties. They share a 520-mile border, including several Syrian provinces. -- AP

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