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Syrian army crosses into Lebanon, snatches farmer
The Syrian-Lebanese border checkpoint is seen in the eastern village of Masharih al-Qaa, Lebanon, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
The Syrian-Lebanese border checkpoint is seen in the eastern village of Masharih al-Qaa, Lebanon, Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. (The Daily Star/Nidal Solh)
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BEIRUT: A Syrian army unit crossed into Lebanon Saturday and kidnapped a farmer from the eastern border area of Masharih al-Qaa, security sources told The Daily Star.

Around 4 a.m., Syrian soldiers crossed into Masharih al-Qaa and raided several houses in the village of Dawra. The soldiers then kidnapped Khaled Abu Jabal, 25, and returned to Syria.

The Syrian military unit remained in Lebanese territory for 40 minutes.

Since the uprising began in Syria against President Bashar Assad's rule, the Syrian army has on several occasions crossed into Lebanon and raided houses near the poorly demarcated border, which is estimated to be around 550 kilometers long.

Lebanese border towns have also witnessed shelling from the Syrian side, damaging houses and at times killing residents.

Syria has claimed that it is the victim of violence and crime emanating from Lebanon, and has repeatedly asked Lebanon to better control the border, citing arms smuggling and gunmen entering its land via Lebanon.

Earlier this year, President Michel Sleiman asked Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour Monday to deliver a letter of protest to Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim Ali over Syria’s repeated violations of the Lebanese border.

Sleiman also “expressed his displeasure” in July over border violations in which several villages along the northern border were struck by shells fired from Syria, including a direct hit on a house in the Masharih al-Qaa area.

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