UN leader Ban Ki-moon made a final demand for President Bashar al-Assad to halt attacks on
civilians ahead of Wednesday's deadline to withdraw troops and heavy guns from Syria's cities.
"The secretary general reiterates his demand that the government of Syria immediately cease all military actions against civilians and fulfill all of its commitments made through joint special envoy Kofi Annan," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
Syria had accepted Annan's plan for government troops and weapons to be withdrawn from cities by April 10, but made a last-minute demand that opposition groups guarantee that they would lay down their arms.
"The timeline for the complete cessation of violence endorsed by the Security Council must be respected by all without condition," Ban said, referring to the 15-nation council's statement backing the April 10 deadline.
The UN leader added he was "alarmed" by continued violence and human rights violations in Syria, which have sparked an increased flow of refugees into neighbouring countries.
Ban spoke today with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu "who conveyed his authorities' utmost concern over the recent developments, including cross-border fire which resulted in deaths and injuries on Turkish territory," said Nesirky.
Shots fired from across the border injured six people in a Turkish refugee camp and two people wounded in Syria died after crossing the border, officials said. A television cameraman was shot dead on the Lebanon-Syria border.
"The secretary general strongly deplores today's fatal cross-border shootings from Syria into Turkey, as well as into Lebanon," said Nesirky.
Ban again praised countries around Syria for taking in refugees and keeping their borders open during the 13-month crisis in which the UN says more than 9,000 people have been killed.
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