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Sunday, October 5, 2003

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Israeli strike: Russia, US call for restraint by all

Moscow, Oct. 5. (PTI): Russia today expressed concern at the Israeli strike on an alleged terror base near the Syrian capital Damascus and urged restraint to prevent escalation of hostilities in West Asia.

"It is quite evident that such acts lead to the expansion of geographical dimension of the confrontation", Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said cautioning that other countries could be drawn into it resulting in "even more dramatic consequences" for this region and global security.

Other agencies reported that the United States, responding to the latest outbreak of violence, called for restraint on all sides today.

The appeal from the State Department came as Arab leaders warned that a "circle of violence" could encompass the region after Israeli warplanes attacked deep inside Syria for the first time in decades.

That attack followed a suicide bombing yesterday in Haifa, Israel, for which the Palestinian Islamic Jihad took responsibility.

"We urge all sides to exercise restraint and to keep in mind the consequences of their actions," the State Department said in a statement.

Israel claimed its target was an Islamic Jihad training camp. The Palestinian group denied it had a camp in Syria.

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