The online news portal of TV5
ANKARA - Syrian rebels seized control of a border crossing on the Turkish frontier on Wednesday after clashes with troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, a Turkish official told AFP.
Turkish media footage showed Syrian rebels pulling down the Syrian flag at the Tall al-Abyad border post on the main highway between the city of Raqa in northeastern Syria and the Turkish city of Sanliurfa.
Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported that the rebels tore down Assad's pictures to celebrate the capture but an opposition activist in Raqa said that fighting was still raging in the area as government troops attempted to recapture the crossing.
"Rebel forces took complete control of the border crossing," after heavy clashes with the regime troops, the Turkish official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The opposition activist inside Syria, who gave his name only as Abu Assaf, told AFP by telephone that the rebels had raised the FSA flag after inflicting heavy casualties on government troops.
"The fighters have taken over all the security and government buildings in the crossing, and they have raised the Free Syrian Army flag," Abu Assaf said.
"The FSA has seized control of the whole of the area around the Tall al-Abyad border crossing," he said, adding that clashes continued to rage nearby as the army attempted to retake it.
"Many army troops surrendered, and many others were injured," said the activist.
"The FSA has sent some of the wounded to Turkey for treatment, in accordance with the Geneva Conventions," he added.
The Turkish official said that emergency admission had been granted to the wounded but that otherwise the crossing, one of just seven that had still been functioning on the border with Syria, had now been temporarily closed.
The mayor of Akcakale district on the Turkish side of the border, Emre Akgun, told NTV television that stray bullets fired from the Syrian border post had hit houses inside Turkey and wounded three civilians.
Officials warned citizens to stay away from the border line and schools in the area were temporarily closed for safety reasons.
The fighting for the crossing erupted on Tuesday and resumed on Wednesday after a lull at night.
Tall al-Abyad is about 100 kilometers (65 miles) north of Raqa and the border post was relatively little used until recently.
Syrian opposition activists say large numbers of civilians displaced by the heavy fighting of recent months in neighboring Aleppo and Deir Ezzor provinces have sought refuge in Raqa.
Since late July, Syrian rebels fighting Assad's regime have seized control of at least three key border crossings with Turkey -- Bab al-Hawa, Al-Salama and Jarabulus.
They have also seized crossings on Syria's eastern border with Iraq.