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Syrians fire across 2 borders as conflict deepens
KILIS, Turkey — The bloody conflict in Syria spilled across two borders Monday, killing a 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.
Mr. Shaaban, who was born in 1980, died on the way to the hospital, the officials said on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
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 United Nations estimates that some 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, when the uprising began.
The Syrian revolt began with mostly peaceful protests against Mr. Assad’s regime, a family dynasty that has ruled the country for four decades. But in the face of a relentless military assault on protests, the opposition has become increasingly militarized.
Now, the uprising resembles an armed insurgency, and there are fears the country is spiraling toward civil war. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria, brokered a cease-fire that was supposed to begin Tuesday, but the plan is in tatters.
Syrian troops were meant to pull out of population centers by Tuesday morning, but the government on Sunday introduced a new demand — saying it cannot withdraw without written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their arms. Syria‘s main rebel group rejected the government’s demands.
The Syrian opposition and Western leaders have been skeptical all along that Mr. Assad would live up to his commitment to a truce because he has broken similar promises in the past and escalated attacks on opposition strongholds in the days leading up to the cease-fire deadline.
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
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