Shell from Syria hits Turkish health centre: CNN Turk

ISTANBUL Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:35am EDT

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An anti-aircraft shell fired from Syria hit a health center across the border in the Reyhanli district of Turkey's Hatay province on Tuesday but there were no immediate reports of injuries, CNN Turk television said.

Turkey has bolstered its military presence along its 900-km (560-mile) border with Syria and has been responding in kind to gunfire and mortar shells hitting its territory from fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces.

The Reyhanli district governor's office said it had no immediate information on the incident.

Tension between the two neighbors, once close allies, is at its highest since Ankara turned against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last year over his violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

Turkish newspaper Milliyet said on Saturday that the Turkish military had fired on Syria 87 times, killing 12 Syrian soldiers and destroying several tanks in retaliation for Syrian shells and mortar bombs landing inside Turkey.

Turkey's Chief-of-Staff General Necdet Ozel said this month that his troops would respond "with greater force" if shells continued to land on Turkish soil, and parliament has also authorized the deployment of troops beyond Turkey, heightening fears that Syria's civil war could drag in regional powers.

(Reporting by Daren Butler and Ece Toksabay; Writing by Nick Tattersall; Editing by Jon Hemming)