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Syria accuses gunmen of shooting Al-Jadeed TV crew

04-10-2012 09:54 BJT Special Report:Crisis in Syria |

DAMASCUS, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Syrian official news agency SANA said Monday's shooting on the Lebanese-Syrian border that killed a cameraman of Lebanese Al-Jadeed TV channel was perpetrated by armed groups.

SANA quoted an unnamed media source as saying that the TV crew came under fire when "armed terrorist groups" were attacking the Syrian border guards, adding that the border guards had struck back.

The border town of Wadi Khaled, where the shooting took place, has witnessed repeated infiltration attempts by gunmen and is subject to gunshots from armed groups against the Syrian border guards, SANA said.

Al-Jadeed TV cameraman Ali Shaaban was killed in Monday's shootout in Wadi Khaled while two of his colleagues managed to escape unharmed.

The TV network said the crew was in the area to film a report about the situation in the tense border area. Contrary to the Syrian official account, it accused the Syrian army of opening fire at the team.

"Ali Shaaban became a martyr after the Syrian army opened fire on the Al-Jadeed car," the channel said.

Monday's incident indicates that the Syrian conflict is spilling across the borders. In a similar incident Monday, two Syrians were killed and at least 19 others, including two Turks, were injured in clashes with the Syrian security forces on the Turkish-Syrian border.

The two Turks, a woman translator at a refugee camp in southern Kilis city and a police officer, were slightly wounded when Syrian security forces fired on fleeing Syrians.

Syria accuses armed groups of infiltrating into Syria through Turkey and Lebanon. According to SANA, the Syrian authorities thwarted two sneaking attempts of armed groups from the Lebanese territory earlier Monday.

The Syrian government troops have been clashing with rebel forces in the northern Idlib province near the Turkish borders to flush them out. The fleeing armed elements have been seeking refuge in Turkey, which is hosting the rebels' leadership and harboring the fleeing rebels, as well as providing them with medical treatment.

The fresh violence came one day ahead of the deadline for implementing a UN-brokered truce plan, which calls for the government troops' withdrawal from cities by April 10 and a ceasefire by April 12. The UN Security Council backed the plan and urged the Syrian government to comply with it completely, particularly with the April 10 deadline for a military pullback from major cities.

The plan, put forward by the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Kofi Annan, seems all but crumbled, as the Syrian government demanded a written guarantee that the armed groups will also lay down their arms, while the armed rebels refused to offer the guarantee.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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