UK & World News
Syria Shells Turkey: UN Calls For Calm
The United Nations has called for calm in Turkey and Syria amid rising tensions caused by cross-border shelling.
A mortar strike on the Turkish town of Akcakele killed five civilians and wounded at least 10 others.
Turkey returned fire and its parliament voted to authorise military operations inside Syria, although the country's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the pounding of Syrian targets was just "a warning".
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged both countries to exercise "maximum restraint".
His spokesman Martin Nesirky said: "The secretary general calls on all concerned to abandon the use of violence, exercise maximum restraint and exert all efforts to move toward a political solution.
"As the situation inside Syria deteriorates yet further ... the risks of regional conflict and the threat to international peace and security are also increasing."
A mum and her three daughters were among those killed when a shell fired from inside Syria landed on a house in Akcakale on Wednesday.
It was the first time Turkish citizens had been killed as a result of fire from Syria since the conflict between President Bashar al Assad's regime and opposition forces began in March 2011.
Turkey's deputy prime minister Besir Atalay said Damascus had assured Ankara that "such an incident would not be repeated" after UN mediation.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the shelling was "completely unacceptable not only for Turkey but for the international community as a whole."
Earlier, Nato demanded an immediate halt to "aggressive acts" against its member Turkey after the mortar attack.
Ambassadors from the 28 member nations held an emergency late-night meeting at Nato headquarters in Brussels - at Turkey's request - to discuss the strike.
The shelling of Turkey "constitutes a cause of greatest concern for, and is strongly condemned by, all allies", the Nato ambassadors said in a statement.
"The alliance continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally, and urges the Syrian regime to put an end to flagrant violations of international law."
It said recent aggressive acts by Syria were a "clear and present danger to the security of one of (Nato's) allies".
Wednesday's shelling marked the most serious incident between the neighbouring countries since June, when Syria shot down a Turkish fighter jet that had briefly strayed into its airspace, killing the two crewmen.