Syrian activists: Airstrikes kill at least 30

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Financial experts joined representatives of the group at their meeting in The Hague to help member countries understand how Syria may be using dual-use technologies and front companies to get around the existing sanctions, which include an embargo on oil and arms trade with Syria by participating nations.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the sanctions are having an effect, despite non-participation by Russia, China and Iran, citing a sharp fall in Syria’s oil exports. Syrian opposition leaders have warned that sanctions alone will not topple Assad.

Shelling and gunfire also echoed across the northern border region with Turkey, a day after rebels seized control of the strategic Tel Abyad border crossing there. The Observatory reported renewed fighting near the crossing. Tel Abyad is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of where the gas station was struck Thursday.

In Akcakale, a Turkish hamlet that straddles the border, a large explosion was heard. In the distance in Syria, military vehicles were seen rushing toward the blast scene as smoke billowed from the area.

Akcakale authorities closed local schools for a second straight day.

Turkish police vehicles escorted reporters covering the events in Syria away from the border. Turkish security forces were also seen moving local residents and cordoning off the area closest to Syria.

Residents of Akcakale said they fear for their safety.

“We’re pretty scared. I’m not letting my children out of the house. I’ve sent them (the children) to another village, 5-10 kilometers from here,” said resident Mehmet Resat Guvenic. “We’re afraid because this is the first time we’re hearing gunfire, and bombings, and shelling.”

Associated Press writers Albert Aji in Damascus, Syria, Bassem Mroue in Beirut, Umut Colak in Akcakale, Turkey, and Toby Sterling in The Hague, Netherlands, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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