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Cameraman killed in Syria fighting

The bloody conflict in Syria has spilled across two borders, killing a cameraman in Lebanon and wounding at least five people in a refugee camp in Turkey, authorities have said.

The violence came as a UN-brokered peace plan all but collapsed and bolstered fears that the uprising could spark a broader conflagration by sucking in neighbouring 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. His colleague, reporter Hussein Khreis, said the team heard heavy gunfire around them from all sides "falling like rain". Mr Shaaban was inside a car when he was struck, Mr Khreis said.

"If you see the car you would think it was in a war zone," Mr Khreis said on Al Jadeed TV. "It is completely destroyed from the bullets."

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, 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 UN estimates 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011, when the uprising began.

The Syrian revolt began with mostly peaceful protests against 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 militarised.

Now, the uprising resembles an armed insurgency, and there are fears the country is spiralling toward civil war. International envoy Kofi Annan brokered a ceasefire that was supposed to begin tomorrow, but the plan is in tatters.


From Belfast Telegraph