* Lavrov: Syria must say publicly that attack was accident
* Syria and Turkey "must communicate" on border issues
By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya
MOSCOW, Oct 4 Syria has told Russia that a
mortar attack that killed five civilians across the border in
Turkey was a "tragic accident" that will not be repeated,
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying on
RIA Novosti news agency said Lavrov had also told reporters
during a visit to Islamabad that Russia had urged Syria to
acknowledge this in public.
"Through our ambassador to Syria, we have spoken to the
Syrian authorities who assured us ... that what happened at the
border with Turkey was a tragic accident, and that it will not
happen again," RIA quoted Lavrov as saying.
"We think it is of fundamental importance for Damascus to
state that officially."
Russia, which is an ally of Syria and opposes international
efforts to oust President Bashar al-Assad, also called for
restraint after a Syrian mortar bomb hit a residential
neighbourhood of the Turkish border town of
Turkey hit back with artillery fire, in which activists and
security services said several Syrian soldiers had been killed.
They also said Turkey was reinforcing its troops along the
Lavrov said Syria and Turkey should establish a channel to
discuss border issues, including the flow of refugees from
Syria. He said the conflict in Syria had taken on a
The violence is the most serious cross-border escalation of
the 18-month-old uprising in Syria.
U.N. Security Council members had hoped to issue a
non-binding statement on Wednesday that would condemn the mortar
attack "in the strongest terms" and demand an end to violations
of Turkey's territorial sovereignty. But Russia asked for a
delay, diplomats said.
About 30,000 people have been killed across Syria, activists
say, in a conflict with growing sectarian overtones that
threatens to draw in regional Sunni and Shi'ite Muslim powers.