UK & World News
Syria: 15 Killed In Lebanon Border Clashes
The death toll has risen to 15 in clashes between Syrian government forces and activists in neighbouring Lebanon.
Lebanese troops have been deployed in the town of Tripoli amid fears that Syria's unrest could spill over into its neighbour.
Over the past few weeks violence has escalated in the northern Lebanese city - situated 43 miles north of Beirut - between Sunni Muslims and pro-President Bashar al Assad members of the Alawite community.
Prime Minister Najib Mikati has held a crisis meeting in the port city with ministers and officials and instructed security forces to use an "iron fist" to quell the fighting.
"The Lebanese army and internal security forces need to take all measures to stop the clashes in the city of Tripoli, without discrimination," a statement from Mr Mikati's office said.
The violence came as the Syrian president spoke publicly for the first time about the recent Houla massacre in central Syria in which at least 108 people were killed, nearly half of whom were children.
In a speech to the country's new parliament, Mr Assad said his government was facing a foreign plot to destroy Syria and insisted terrorists were behind the gruesome killings in the town of Houla last week.
He said: "The masks have fallen and the international role in the Syrian events is now obvious.
"What happened in Houla and elsewhere (in Syria) are brutal massacres which even monsters would not have carried out.
"We are not facing a political problem but a project to destroy the country."
The opposition and the government have exchanged accusations over the deaths, each blaming the other, while UN investigators have said there are strong suspicions that pro-regime gunmen are responsible for at least some of the killings.
Arab leaders have called on the UN to take steps to end the bloodshed that has gripped the country for more than a year, despite a UN-backed peace plan including the deployment of nearly 300 observers.
Residents reported the dead victims in the clashes with activists in Lebanon included civilians caught in the crossfire and more than 40 people had been wounded.
The two sides reportedly exchanged fire with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades.
The Lebanese National News Agency said there was "shelling across both areas heard every five minutes, and snipers targeting civilians".
The army moved into the area with armoured vehicles but did not open fire, a Reuters journalist at the scene said.
Syria flooded Lebanon with troops early in its 1975-1991 civil war and dominated its neighbour for more than a decade afterwards.
It retains significant influence over Lebanon's intelligence apparatus and military, despite having withdrawn troops in 2005.
United Nations peace envoy Kofi Annan said on Saturday that Syria was slipping towards all-out civil war and that the entire region could suffer if the international community did not step up pressure on Mr Assad.
The UN says forces loyal to Mr Assad have killed more than 9,000 people in more than a year of protests in Syria.