Syria bloodshed spills over into Lebanon, four killed

The shooting comes as hundreds of Syrians flee violence in their homeland.

Updated: May 15, 2011, 19:52 PM IST

Maroun Al-Ras: Four protesters were killed and 11 wounded in a shooting incident at the Lebanese-Israeli border where Palestinians were demonstrating on Sunday, security sources said.

A cameraman Ezzat Baltaji said he filmed three dead bodies and two that were immobile.

Israeli forces had fired in the air to repel Palestinians demonstrating and the Lebanese army had fired in the air in an attempt to stop protesters from reaching the border.

The shooting comes as hundreds of Syrians flee violence in their homeland on foot into Lebanon.

Since Saturday, residents of the western Syrian town of Tall Kalakh, which is encircled by the Army, have fled in their hundreds towards northern Lebanon.

According to a witness and a hospital worker, at least four people were shot dead and several others wounded by gunfire from the security forces in Tall Kalakh on Saturday, when thousands had gathered to stage a second day of protests against the autocratic regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

A witness in Tall Kalakh said that residents were treating the wounded in a small clinic rather than the town hospital to prevent the casualties from being arrested or "finished off”.

Security forces had fired at a funeral convoy at an entrance to the town, killing the mother and wounding three family members of a victim of the clashes, according to the Tall Kalakh resident.

Syrian daily Al-Watan newspaper, which is close to the Assad regime, said in a front-page article on Sunday that many armed men had fled Banias and Homs and sought refuge in Tall Kalakh, while "fighters" from Lebanon had entered Syria to give them back-up.

"Heavy fighting took place last evening (Saturday) between the Syrian Army and armed groups that have taken up positions in Tall Kalakh," the newspaper said.

It did not elaborate on the claim that "fighters" had entered Syria from the northern Lebanese border to assist anti-regime protesters.

Bureau Report