Syrian army gunfire wounds two in Lebanon


Two people were wounded on Wednesday when a Syrian military patrol entered Lebanese territory and opened fire on a border town, a local official said.

“Syrian troops entered Lebanese territory today and opened fire on the village of Khirbat Daoud in Aarsal,” said Bakr Hujairi of the municipality of Aarsal, a border region that has witnessed deadly gunfire in recent months.

Hujairi identified the those wounded as Khaled and Mohammed al-Fleeti, adding that they had been transferred to a nearby hospital where their condition was stable.

At least three people have been killed since October as Syrian troops staging incursions into Lebanon opened fire on border villages.

Lebanon’s Western-backed opposition, Washington and the United Nations have condemned the incursions.

But the Lebanese government, largely dominated by Hezbollah, a strong ally of the Syrian regime, has for the most part stayed silent on the issue.

Lebanon and Syria share a 330-kilometre (205-mile) border but have yet to agree on official demarcation.

Syria has also planted land mines along its border with Lebanon in a bid to prevent weapons smuggling and dissidents from fleeing a fierce crackdown by the regime in Damascus against a nine-month revolt.

Beirut is bitterly divided between pro- and anti-Damascus camps, and there are growing fears the bloodshed in Syria could spill over the border.

The Lebanese opposition and France have also accused the regime of Bashar al-Assad of involvement in a bombing that wounded five French UN peacekeepers in southern Lebanon last week.

Syria has denied the allegations.