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No sign of Syrian pullback as UN deadline passes

Beirut: Activists say Syrian forces have attacked two towns as a deadline passed for President Bashar Assad's troops to start withdrawing from populated areas in the kickoff to an internationally brokered truce deal.

 No sign of Syrian pullback as UN deadline passes

A destroyed Syrian army tank which was attacked during clashes between the Syrian government forces and the Syrian rebels: AP

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it saw no signs of large-scale troop pullback Tuesday and that most areas of Syria appeared calm. This is a sharp contrast to heavy attacks by Syrian forces on restive towns in recent days.

However, activists reported shelling in the northern village of Marea and mortar fire in the city of Homs.

A collapse of the truce deal by UN Arab League envoy Kofi Annan could move Syria closer to an all-out civil war. A 13-month uprising has turned increasingly violent in response to a brutal regime crackdown.

Meanwhile Turkey's prime minister has accused Syria of infringing its border and says his country is considering what steps to take in response, including measures "we don't want to think about."

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking to reporters during a visit to China on Tuesday, a day after Syrian forces opened fire across the border, killing two people in a refugee camp.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying Turkey would assess the situation and take steps accordingly.

Turkish authorities said Monday that Syrian forces fired across the border into a refugee camp in Turkey, wounding at least six people. But four witnesses in the camp told The Associated Press that two people in the camp also had been shot and killed.

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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2012 13:10:58 IST

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