Last updated: 29 August, 2011

Syrian troops enter Lebanon border town

Syrian troops backed by tanks and personnel carriers rumbled Monday into the village of Hit bordering Lebanon and heavy gunfire could be heard, a rights advocacy group reported.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the convoy entered Hit, two kilometres (1.2 miles) from the border with Lebanon, early Monday morning.

“There has been high intensity gunfire since 9:00 am (0600 GMT),” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP by telephone.

Earlier this month UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told him in a telephone conversation that he had halted military operations against protesters.

But the UN chief a week ago said Assad had failed to keep his promise.

“It is troubling that he has not kept his word,” Ban told reporters, as he highlighted that Assad had vowed during a telephone conversation to halt operations by military and security forces.

“This is what he clearly told me when I had telephone talks with him,” Ban said.

“Many world leaders have been speaking to him to halt immediately military operations, killing his own people. He should do that,” Ban said.