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Turkey, Syria exchange artillery fire for 5th day   2012-10-08 08:04:00

  ANKARA, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Another Syrian mortar shell fell inside the Turkish territory on Sunday, prompting the retaliatory artillery fire by the Turkish army in a fifth straight day, local newspaper Today's Zaman reported.

  The Syrian shell landed near the Turkish border town of Akcakale, and the Turkish troops responded by firing mortar shells, making it the fifth day of clashes between the two neighboring countries, said the report.

  Abdulhakim Ayhan, the mayor of Akcakale, confirmed that Turkish artillery immediately returned fire.

  On Wednesday, a mortar shell from the Syrian side fell in the Turkish border town of Akcakale in Sanliurfa province and killed five Turks.

  The Turkish government said Wednesday in a statement that "Our armed forces in border region have given the required response in line with the rule of engagements. Targets in Syria, which were detected by radar, were shot by shelling."

  "Turkey will never remain unresponsive against these sorts of provocations of Syrian regime within the framework of rules of engagement and international law," the statement said.

  In an emergency session on Thursday, the Turkish parliament approved a motion for cross-border military operations inside Syria.

  Ankara has been complaining about the spillover of Syrian artillery and gunfire into its territory, and has last week said it would act if mortar strikes were repeated from Syria.

  Turkey, once an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad but now a leading voice urging his ouster, shelters over 90,000 Syrian refugees and has reportedly provided Syrian rebel army leaders with sanctuary.


source : Xinhua     editor:: Zhang Yan
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