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Britain condemns Syrian shelling of Turkish town

04 october 2012, 16:25
0
The explosion area is pictured after several Syrian shells crashed inside Akcakale town in Turkey. ©AFP
The explosion area is pictured after several Syrian shells crashed inside Akcakale town in Turkey. ©AFP
Britain on Thursday denounced as "outrageous" the Syrian shelling of a Turkish border town that killed five civilians, AFP reports.

"I condemn the violence from the Syrian regime which has led to the deaths of a number of Turkish citizens, including a mother and her children," Foreign minister William Hague said in a statement.

"This was an outrageous act. We demand that the Syrian regime avoid any repetition of today's incident on the border with Turkey."

Syrian shells hit the Turkish town of Akcakale on Wednesday, killing five civilians, including a mother and her three children.

Turkish forces retaliated to the attack with artillery fire as NATO held an emergency meeting to express support for Ankara while urging Syria to respect international law.

"Today's events are a stark reminder of the deteriorating situation in Syria, the dangers it presents to the wider region, and the need for an urgent resolution of the United Nations Security Council," said Hague.

"Turkey is one of our closest allies and key partners in the region and we will continue to work closely together on the Syria crisis and remain in close touch over the coming days".

Turkey, once a strong ally of Syria, broke off diplomatic relations with Damascus after the regime began cracking down on dissent last year.

Tension between the two neighbours further deteriorated after Syria shot down a Turkish jet fighter in June.

Syria has said it is looking into the origin of the cross-border shelling and offered its condolences to the families of the victims and "to our friends the Turkish people," he added.

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