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Syrian shelling hits Lebanon, killing 5

Regime forces fire artillery at villages in northern Lebanon.

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A mother holds the body of her 5 year-old son during his funeral after he was killed by a sniper outside the city of Homs. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian shelling hit villages in northern Lebanon on Saturday, killing five people and injuring others, Reuters reported

Syrian rebels are using northern Lebanon as a home base for their operations to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, according to Reuters, which has caused tensions to mount between the neighbors as some fear the violence in Syria will spread to its neighboring countries, BBC News reported

The artillery fire hit the Lebanese border town of Amayer in the Wady Khaled region at 2 a.m. local time, the army said in a statement, CNN reported. Residents also reported hearing gunfire at the border midday. 

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"The army units deployed in the region have been enhanced and put on high alert, necessary field measures have been taken to treat any ... violations by any side in the appropriate measures," the statement said, according to CNN. 

A rocket-propelled grenade later hit a tent in Hishe, killing two Bedouins, Reuters said.

Local residents told reporters the grenades came from the Syrian side of a river that marks the Lebanon-Syria border.

The shelling also hit the village of al-Mahatta, where it destroyed a house and killed a 16-year-old girl and injured a 2- and 4-year-old who were inside, Reuters reported. A 25-year-old couple was also reported dead in a nearby village. 

The region's residents were reportedly fleeing their villages "in a state of panic and fear," the Lebanese National News agency reported, according to BBC. 

Saturday's incident is the deadliest one the border has seen since Syria's revolt began almost 16 months ago, Al-Arabiya reported.

Lebanon, along with Syria's neighboring countries Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan, has so far absorbed thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing their country's violence, BBC News reported. 

Also Saturday, UN envoy Kofi Annan admitted peace efforts in Syria have failed, The Associated Press said.

Annan, the former secretary general of the UN, said more attention must be paid to Iran and other countries supporting Syria militarily.

"Very few things are said about other countries that send arms and money and weigh on the situation on the ground," Annan said, declining to name specific countries.

French newspaper Le Monde published the Annan interview today.

"The evidence shows that we have not succeeded," he said.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/120707/syrian-shelling-hits-lebanon-three-dead