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Syrian shell hits Turkish health center as hopes for Eid truce dim

A Syrian shell hit a Turkish health center and violence raged in northern Syria as hopes for an Eid ceasefire dimmed.

Syrian shell turkish health center rebels north eid truce october 2012Enlarge
A Syrian rebel stands next to burning tyres set on fire by rebels in order for the black smoke to obscure the vision of regime pilots in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan on October 20, 2012. Syrian regime forces and rebels clashed around a besieged army base near the strategic northern town of Maaret al-Numan, an AFP correspondent said. (BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

An anti-aircraft shell fired from Syria hit a health center in Turkey on Tuesday, though there were no immediate reports of injuries.

Reuters reported that the shell struck in the Reyhanli district of Hatay province, according to CNN Turk television.

The district governor's office had no additional information on the incident.

Tensions between Syria and Turkey have ratcheted up to their highest point since Turkey disavowed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's violent crackdown on protests. This is not the first time shells from Syria have landed in Turkey. In retaliation, Turkey has fired on Syria 87 times, killing at least 12 Syrian soldiers and destroying tanks, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, hopes for a ceasefire in Syria during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha dimmed as fighting raged. The ceasefire, proposed by the United Nations and campaigned for by the UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, was meant to start later this week.

The Associated Press reported that Syrian warplanes struck a rebel-held town in northern Syria, trying to reopen a key supply route.

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The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition activist group, said Syrian aircraft struck Maaret al-Numan and the village of Mar Shamsheh, as troops and rebels battled at a nearby Syrian military camp.

Maaret al-Numan, a key point on the supply route between Syria's largest cities Aleppo and Damascus, was seized by opposition fighters earlier this month.

Activists also reported that at least 20 people were killed when government forces shelled a bakery in a rebel-controlled neighborhood in Aleppo on Tuesday, according to Al Jazeera. Video footage, which could not be independently verified, seemed to show decapitated bodies amid scattered loaves of bread.

The UN is still holding on to hope that the ceasefire will take hold on Friday, said Al Jazeera. "We are getting ourselves ready to act if it is necessary and a mandate is approved," said UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous in New York.

Syrian National Council chief Abdelbaset Sieda told the AP that the rebels were willing to stop fighting, but would respond if attacked. "Brahimi hasn't any mechanism to observe the situation," he said, speaking from Sweden.

Syria's deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad said, "We are always optimistic."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/121023/syrian-shell-hits-turkish-health-center-hopes-eid-truce