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Turkey accuses Syria of firing across border

The Turkish government has expressed outrage with Syrian forces for allegedly firing across the border.

The Turkish government has expressed outrage with Syrian forces for allegedly firing across the border, killing at least one and wounding three others close to a Syrian refugee camp, according to The New York Times.

Accounts differed, as the BBC reported that a clash between Syrian rebels and troops spilled over the border, leaving one dead and several injured.

In Lebanon, Ali Shaaban, a cameraman for Al-Jadeed television, was shot and killed when the car he and his coworkers were traveling in came under heavy gunfire from across the Syrian border. Others escaped the car by jumping into a meadow, and one survivor said the gunshots “came like rain,” the Daily Star reported.

Al-Jadeed, which is considered supportive of the Syrian government, accused the Syrian army of killing Shaaban. SANA, Syrian state news, blamed “terrorists.” 

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On Tuesday, Shaaban’s casket was carried through Haret Hreik, the Hezbollah-dominated southern suburb of Beirut, and his body was returned to be buried in his ancestral town of Mayfidoun in southern Lebanon, the Daily Star wrote

The BBC said at least 100 people were already killed in Syria on Monday, including 12 members of Syrian security forces who died close to the Turkish border, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group.

The Associated Press also reported only one death, and noted that a Turkish government official said his country had immediately protested the incident, the first such attack since refugees began flooding across the border from Syria into Turkey.

According to the Observatory, the incident began at 4 a.m. on Monday when opposition fighters attacked government forces at the Salameh border. The protracted gunbattle left several government soldiers dead in the ambush and fighting spilled over when eight of the wounded opposition fighters escaped into the camp on the Turkish border.

Spokesman for the Observatory Rami Abdul-Rahman said Syrian forces continued to fire on the fighters, injuring five people in the camp, in the town of Kilis. One of the injured later died from his wounds, according to the AP.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu briefed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the UN and Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan, on the escalating numbers of Syrian refugees arriving at the Turkish border, according to AFP, as the Syrian government continued its crackdown ahead of the ceasefire which is supposed to take effect on April 12.

There is increasing skepticism about the Syrian ceasefire, with the Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru saying, “April 10 is invalid, a new phase starts tomorrow.” He said, “It is now quite clear that the Annan plan will not be delivered, after the assaults that have been raging since yesterday,” according to the AFP.