Fire in Syrian refugee camp in Turkey kills two

YAYLADAGI, Turkey Fri Jul 6, 2012 10:11am EDT

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YAYLADAGI, Turkey (Reuters) - A fire broke out at a refugee camp for Syrian refugees in southern Turkey on Friday, killing two Syrian children and injuring six, a Turkish foreign ministry official said.

The fire started after a gas bottle used for cooking exploded at the Yayladagi refugee camp, one of several in Hatay province which borders Syria, the official said, adding the fire had since been extinguished.

A young boy and a young girl were killed while six others were injured, all of them Syrian refugees.

The Yayladagi refugee camp consists of several concrete buildings in what was once a state tobacco factory, with tents for the refugees erected inside. The fire broke out in one of the buildings, the official said. Yayladagi is located only a couple of kilometers from the Syrian border.

Turkish media showed images of the gutted concrete building, its windows shattered and still smoldering as firefighters continued to put out the flames.

There are now more than 35,000 Syrian refugees living in camps inside Turkey along the Syrian border with several hundred arriving every day. Most of the refugees now live in two larger newer camps further east of Hatay in Kilis and Sanliurfa.

The refugees are fleeing a violent crackdown by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's forces on an anti-government uprising which started in March 2011. Many rebels fighting the Syrian army also stay in the refugee camps from where they cross back and forth across the border.

(Writing By Jonathon Burch; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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