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Emergency NATO meeting called after Syrian shell kills five people in Turkey

NATO is to meet urgently to discuss the events of today, which include reports of a retaliation.

Syrian boys play near a refugee camp on the border with Turkey
Syrian boys play near a refugee camp on the border with Turkey
Image: Manu Brabo/AP/Press Association Images

FIVE PEOPLE IN Turkey have been killed after three Syrian shells were fired into the border town of Akcakale.

Another eight people were injured during the attack, a spill over from the civil war that has embroiled Syria for the past 18 months. Among the deceased is a six-year-old boy and three other children and their mother, reports local media.

This is the second time that fire from Syria has killed people across the border.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a retaliatory assault had taken place. His office explained that Turkish artillery fired on Syrian targets after the deadly shelling.

“Our armed forces in the border region immediately retaliated against this heinous attack… by shelling the targets spotted by radar,” it said.

The office added that the retaliation took place “in line with the rules of engagement”.

The statement released by the Government also said that contact had been established immediately after the attacks with the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. A number of other telephone interviews took place between the UN and foreign ministers of some of the members of the Security Council.

NATO has called an emergency meeting following a conversation between the Foreign Ministry and Anders Fogh Rasmussen, according to Turkey’s statement.

Ban Ki-moon has urged Damascus to respect the territorial sovereignty of its neighbours. Commenting on the cross-border incident, his spokesperson said it “demonstrated how Syria’s conflict is threatening not only the security of the Syrian people but increasingly causing harm to its neighbours.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US is consulting on what she termed a “very dangerous situation”, adding that the Obama administration is “outraged” over the attack. She had plans to speak with Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu later today.

-Additional reporting by AP, AFP

Earlier: Syria: Explosions rock central Aleppo>

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