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Originally published Sunday, April 8, 2012 at 4:08 AM

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Turkey: 3 wounded from Syrian gunfire over border

Syrian forces on Monday fired across the border at protesters at a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding a Turkish translator and at least two Syrian refugees, in the first such attack since Turkey began sheltering thousands of refugees last summer, authorities said.

Associated Press

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ANKARA, Turkey —

Syrian forces on Monday fired across the border at protesters at a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding a Turkish translator and at least two Syrian refugees, in the first such attack since Turkey began sheltering thousands of refugees last summer, authorities said.

A Turkish government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, said his country - which stands at the forefront of calls for the ouster of Syrian President Bashar Assad - immediately protested the incident and called for the fire to be halted.

Clashes were heard across the border from the refugee camp in the town of Kilis in the southwestern Gaziantep province throughout the morning and some refugees climbed over camp fences and headed toward the border to help the wounded, the Anadolu Agency said.

Turkish security forces beefed up security along the well-marked border area and crossings remained open to refugees, it said.

Two refugees and one Turkish citizen, a translator, were wounded inside the camp, Gaziantep Gov. Yusuf Odabas said. The translator had entered the camp to try to help calm a protest against the Syrian regime, he said.

Turkish security forces were reinforced in the well-marked border area following the attack, state television said.

Odabas said, meanwhile, that two of 13 Syrians who had been wounded in clashes inside Syria and were brought to Kilis for treatment earlier Monday have died.

The U.N. says more than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the anti-Assad revolt began 13 months ago with peaceful protests. The uprising has turned increasingly violent in recent months in the face of a brutal government crackdown.

Under a U.N.-brokered cease-fire deal, Syrian troops were to pull out of population centers by Tuesday morning. However, the Syrian government said Sunday it cannot do so without written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their arms, effectively scuttling a deal that was to pave the way for talks between the government and the opposition on a political transition.

Turkey hosts some 24,000 Syrian refugees, including hundreds of army defectors, and has floated the idea of setting up a buffer zone inside Syria if the flow of displaced people across its border becomes overwhelming. Parts of the southern Turkish region near Syria are informal logistics bases for rebels, who collect food and other supplies in Turkey and deliver them to comrades on smuggling routes.

Separately, a leading international human rights group said Syrian forces have summarily executed more than 100 people, most of them civilians. This includes several mass executions in the restive provinces of Homs and Idlib, Monday's report by Human Rights Watch said.

The New York-based group says it only included cases corroborated by witnesses but has received more reports of similar incidents. The executions took place over the past four months, with most in March.

An internationally brokered truce requires Syrian forces to pull out of population centers by Tuesday. But Assad's government now wants guarantees that rebels will lay down their arms.

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