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Originally published Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at 1:03 AM

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China urges Syrian gov't, opposition to back truce

China on Tuesday again called on the Syrian government and opposition forces to immediately back a truce deal arranged by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

The Associated Press

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BEIJING —

China on Tuesday again called on the Syrian government and opposition forces to immediately back a truce deal arranged by U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

China's call came as a deadline passed for President Bashar Assad's troops to start withdrawing from populated areas in a kickoff to the internationally brokered truce deal.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said China hopes the Syrian government and opposition "stay with their commitment to the cease-fire and withdrawal, and create favorable conditions for easing the tension in Syria and pushing for a political resolution for the Syria issue."

China and Russia have twice shielded Damascus from U.N. sanctions over Assad's crackdown on a yearlong uprising that has killed more than 9,000.

A collapse of the truce deal brokered by Annan could move Syria closer to an all-out civil war. The uprising has turned increasingly violent in response to the regime's crackdown.

The fighting has also spilled over Syria's borders and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Syria of infringing its border and says his country is considering what steps to take in response, including measures "we don't want to think about."

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency said Erdogan was speaking to reporters in China on Tuesday, a day after Syrian forces opened fire across the border, killing two people in a refugee camp.

Anadolu quoted Erdogan as saying Turkey would assess the situation and take steps accordingly.

Turkish authorities said Monday that Syrian forces fired across the border into a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding at least six people. Four witnesses in the camp told The Associated Press that two people in the camp also had been shot and killed.

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