Syria bloodshed spills over into Lebanon

DAMASCUS (AFP) – The deadly unrest in Syria spilled over into Lebanon where a woman was killed at a border crossing as protests against President Bashar al-Assad's regime entered a third month on Sunday.

Gunfire from Syria raked a crowd at Al-Boqayah crossing near the town of Wadi Khaled, killing the Syrian woman and wounding five people including a Lebanese soldier, a Lebanese security official and an AFP correspondent said.

The shooting came as hundreds of Syrians fled violence in their homeland on foot into Lebanon.

At one point, an armed man in plainclothes waded towards Al-Boqayah across the river which marks the border but was turned back by Lebanese civilians and fled firing shots into the air.

The area around Al-Boqayah was later deserted apart from Lebanese soldiers, a Red Cross team and several reporters, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

The latest incidents came as Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to the bloodshed in Syria and urged authorities and citizens to strive for a "future of peace and stability."

"I ask God that there be no further bloodshed in (Syria), this country of great religions and civilisations," the pope said after his weekly Angelus prayer in Rome's St Peter's Square.

Since Saturday, residents of the western Syrian town of Tall Kalakh, which is encircled by the Syrian army, have fled in their hundreds into nearby northern Lebanon.

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