Conflict & Justice

Ban Ki-moon deplores cross-border shooting, calls on Syria to respect ceasefire deadline


Ban Ki-moon, right, greets a delegate before the start of a UN General Assembly meeting on Thursday where a briefing was to take place on the situation in Syria.


Monika Graff

NEW YORK - Addressing the worsening situation in Syria, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today said he deplored cross-border violence affecting Turkey and Lebanon and called on Damascus to respect a ceasefire that is meant to take effect on Thursday, Reuters reported.

Syrian refugees have been pouring into Turkey as fighting intensifies and the government in Ankara claimed that five refugee camp workers near the Syrian border were wounded today by gunfire. Voice of America said two people were also killed in the attack on the refugee camp in the southeastern Kilis region.

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A Lebanese television station today accused Syrian forces of shooting dead a cameraman as he was on Lebanese soil.

"The secretary-general is alarmed by the reports of continued violence and human rights violations in Syria, which resulted in an increased flow of refugees into neighboring countries," Ban's office said in a statement carried by Reuters.

“The secretary-general strongly deplores today's fatal cross-border shootings from Syria into Turkey, as well as into Lebanon,” the statement reportedly said. "The timeline for the complete cessation of violence endorsed by the Security Council must be respected by all without condition."

The government of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has agreed to withdraw its weapons and forces from Syrian towns by tomorrow and to cease fire 48 hours later.

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However the Damascus appeared yesterday to create the conditions for scuttling this agreement by demanding that rebel fighters given written pledges that they would also comply with the terms of the cease fire — a demand that was promptly rejected.

The UN says Syria has killed 9,000 people in putting down the revolt. Syria says many of its own police and soldiers have died in the fighting.