Last Updated: Mon Apr 09, 2012 18:02 pm (KSA) 15:02 pm (GMT)

Syria’s deadly violence spills over into Lebanon, Turkey

Lebanese civil defense ambulances drive in Wadi Khaled area where a television team was shot in northern Lebanon. (Reuters)
Lebanese civil defense ambulances drive in Wadi Khaled area where a television team was shot in northern Lebanon. (Reuters)

The deadly violence in Syria spilled across two borders on Monday, killing a TV cameraman in Lebanon and wounding at least five people in a refugee camp in Turkey as gunfire flew across the tense frontiers, authorities said.

The violence came as a U.N.-brokered peace plan all but collapsed and bolstered fears that the uprising could spark a broader conflagration by sucking in neighboring countries.

Ali Shaaban, a cameraman for the Al Jadeed television station, was filming in Lebanon’s northern Wadi Khaled area when a bullet pierced his chest, Lebanese security officials said. The gunfire came from the nearby Syrian village of Armouta, the officials said according to AP.

Shaaban, who was born in 1980, died on the way to the hospital, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

His colleague, reporter Hussein Khreis, said the team heard heavy gunfire around them from all sides, “falling like rain.” Shaaban was inside a car when he was struck, Khreis said.

“If you see the car you would think it was in a war zone,” Khreis said on Al Jadeed TV. “It is completely destroyed from the bullets.”

He said they waited for more than two hours for the army and some residents to come and pull them out to safety.

“I ask forgiveness from Ali’s family because I couldn’t do anything for him,” he said, breaking into tears.

Earlier Monday, Syrian forces fired across the border into a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding at least five people, authorities said.

The Syrian soldiers were believed to be firing at rebels who tried to escape to the refugee camp after ambushing a military checkpoint, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing a network of sources on the ground.

Turkey shelters thousands of refugees who have fled Syria as President Bashar Assad tries to crush a revolt against his regime. The U.N. estimates some 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, when the uprising began.

Nationwide violence continues

In continuous nationwide violence, at least 105 Syrians were killed on Monday.

The toll included 23 members of the security forces loyal to Assad and eight rebel fighters, while the rest were civilians, according to figures provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At least 35 Syrian civilians, including women and children, were killed in shelling that targeted the village of Latamna, in the country's central Hama province, the Observatory said.

Among the dead, 15 were under the age of 18 and eight were women, said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the Observatory, describing the bombardment as a “new massacre by the Syrian regime.”

The neighboring village of Kfar Zeita was struck by army helicopters as regime forces clashed with rebels on the ground, the center said.

In the province of Aleppo, 27 civilians were killed in shelling of the town of Tal Rifaat, where heavy clashes ensued between regime troops and rebels, the center said.

Also in Aleppo province, rebel fighters besieged a checkpoint at the village of Salamah, on the border with Turkey, killing six members of the security and customs services, said the Observatory.

Nine policemen were killed in clashes the neighborhood of Sukari, in the northern city of Aleppo, the Observatory said.

But SANA state news agency gave a different version of the incident and a much higher toll.

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