Lebanon News

Syrian gunfire hits Lebanese territory near Abboudieh crossing

In Abboudieh, the Syrian Army has pitched new tents where soldiers are on guard duty. (The Daily Star/Stringer)

BEIRUT: Syrian gunfire hit the Lebanese side of the northern frontier near the Abboudieh border crossing Monday, the National News Agency reported Monday.

The NNA said gunfire hit the area between the northern village of Abboudieh and Hekr Janin, an area that lies along the Kabir River which separates the two countries.

However, a security source denied to The Daily Star that gunfire actually reached Lebanese territory, saying a rocket-propelled grenade exploded over the Kabir River.

The source added that the sounds of fighting and heavy explosions in Syria could be heard in Abboudieh, prompting many residents to flee their homes.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that Syrian border guards thwarted Monday an attempt by an “armed terrorist group” to sneak into Syrian territory from Abboudieh.

Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV reported that Lebanese Army troops deployed heavily around Abboudieh after an armed group opened fire in the direction of Syria from inside Lebanon.

It said the Army stormed a house in the village and arrested one person.

Other media reports said the Syrian army shot into Lebanon and fired three shells after a “huge” defection among its ranks. The reports said the Syrian army beefed up its presence in the area in light of the incident.

Syrian troops have shot at and advanced into Lebanon several times since the outbreak of an uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad in March 2011. Many residents of border villages have fled their homes, and the incidents have further exacerbated divisions among the rival March 8 and March 14 coalitions.

While the March 14 coalition labels these incidents a violation of Lebanese sovereignty, its March 8 rivals argue that Syrian troops are retaliating for attacks staged by Syrian rebels from inside Lebanon.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 09, 2012, on page 1.




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