Lebanon PM protests Syria violations

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iol pic wld lebanon syria REUTERS A woman walks with her children as a blue sheet provides cover from snipers during sectarian clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in the Sunni area of Tripoli.

Beirut - Lebanon's premier said on Monday that Beirut will urgently protest to Damascus over Syria's violations of its territory, warning of “negative repercussions” on the stability of the border areas.

“Prime Minister Najib Mikati asked the ambassador of Lebanon to Damascus Michel Khoury... to send an urgent letter to the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to say that Syrian posts continue to shell Lebanese border villages,” he said in a statement.

“These violations could have negative repercussions... on stability and calm at the border,” despite “security measures taken by the Lebanese army,” said Mikati.

Shelling from Syria into Lebanon and cross-border shootings have become near-daily occurrences in recent months according to Lebanese officials, and the spillover of the conflict has worried the international community.

President Michel Sleiman accused Syria of violating Lebanese territory on July 23, and the Syrian regime has frequently blamed Lebanon for allowing “terrorists” to cross over and smuggle weapons into the strife-torn country.

More than 150,000 Syrians have fled to Lebanon, where supporters and opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's regime have frequently clashed notably in the northern city of Tripoli. - Sapa-AFP

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