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DAMASCUS:Syria says thwarted infiltration of 35 gunmen from Turkey

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

 DAMASCUS,Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Syria said Tuesday that its border guards thwarted an infiltration attempt of 35 gunmen who tried to sneak into Syria from Turkey.

Syria’s border troops clashed with an armed group and prevented it from entering the Syrian territories, the official SANA news agency quoted well informed sources as saying.

There were no injuries among the Syrian guards “who are well prepared to confront such situations,” the sources said, adding that a number of the sneaking gunmen were injured while the others fled toward Turkey.

Wailing sirens were heard from the Turkish side, the sources added.

Turkish-Syrian relations have hit a new low recently over the unrest in Syria. The Turkish side accuses the Syrian administration of atrocities against its people, while Damascus accuses Ankara of harboring and arming “terrorist” groups against the rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has overtly charged that Turks and their Western backers are behind the unrest in the country and even fund what it called armed “terrorist” groups it blames for killing hundreds of policemen and military personnel across the country.

Last week, the European Union, the United States, Turkey and the Arab League slapped new economic sanctions on Damascus to further cripple the Syrian economy and tighten the grip on Assad’s regime.

In retaliation for these sanction measures, the Syria government last week suspended its membership in the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the Syrian-Turkish free trade agreement.

An official from Turkey’s International Transporters Association said Monday that Syria has blocked the entrance of about 700 Turkish trucks for five days at the Babel Hawas Border Gate.