03/22/2012, 00.00
SYRIA
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Lebanese border village shelled as UN calls for a stop to the violence

The village of al-Qaa is hit, wounding one person. The UN Security Council adopts a statement with Russia and China voting in favour.

Damascus (AsiaNews/) - The conflict between the Syrian regime and rebels has spilled over the border into Lebanon where several shells hit the Lebanese village of al-Qaa, injuring one person. Al-Qaa, 10 km from the Syrian border, has been the first stop for many of the 7,000 Syrian refugees who fled fighting at home.

In New York, the United Nations Security Council found some unity, calling on Syria to implement immediately the peace plan formulated by special UN and Arab League envoy Kofi Annan. Although the statement carries less weight than a resolution, it does contain a veiled warning of future action to stop the slaughter.

Annan' six-point plan calls for an end to the fighting, the gradual implementation of a ceasefire, the arrival of humanitarian aid, the release of people held without trial, freedom of movement for journalists and the start political talks.

All 15 members of the Security Council voted in favour of the statement, including China and Russia, which had vetoed two previous resolutions against Syria.

"The document does not contain any ultimatums, threats or assertions about who is guilty," said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to explain his country's favourable vote. In recent days, Moscow and Beijing had also criticised Assad's forces for their excessive use of force.

Still, despite warnings from the United Nations, Syrian security forces and rebels are still locked in a fight. Clashes were reported today in Homs, where 37 were killed yesterday, and in other rebel-held cities.

In Hama, the army deployed tanks to stop an attack by the Free Syrian Army against a government building. According to opposition sources, 12 people were killed.

Serious fighting is also reported in the capital.

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