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Stray bullets from Syria hit Israeli border patrol vehicle

Stray bullets from Syria hit Israeli border patrol vehicle

JERUSALEM: An Israeli military border patrol vehicle was hit by stray bullets fired from Syria in the Golan Heights on Sunday but there were no casualties, a military spokeswoman said.

The incident was the latest apparent stray firing during gunbattles in Syria between the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and insurgents who have been fighting a 20-month-long civil war.

“Gunfire hit a patrol vehicle along the border but caused no damage; a complaint was lodged with the United Nations which is investigating,” the spokeswoman said.

Israel has been on high alert along its northern border as the insurgency throughout Syria has spread to villages and towns nearby. Similar spillovers from fighting have alarmed other neighbors of Syria, including Lebanon and Turkey.

The U.N. has a peacekeeping force in the area monitoring a ceasefire in place since the 1970s. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move never recognized internationally.

Technically, Syria and Israel are still at war, but the Golan, a strategic plateau, has been largely quiet for decades.

Last week Israeli troops fired artillery shells into Syria in response to a number of incidents in which mortar shells and bullets hit Israeli military and civil installations on the Golan Heights.

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