Greek Cypriot Soldier Shot By Turkish Troops
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) _ Turkish troops shot and seriously wounded a Greek Cypriot soldier Sunday in the fortified buffer zone that divides this capital city, officials said.
Greek soldiers said Sgt. Evagoras Evagorou, 19, was shot in the back while crossing the 25-yard-wide zone in a quarter of the old city to talk to a Turkish guard on the other side.
The men, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said U.N. troops who patrol the strip rushed Evagorou to the hospital. Cyprus state radio said Evagorou was in critical condition after surgery for removal of a kidney and part of the spleen.
This was the first serious shooting incident in the buffer zone since another Greek Cypriot soldier was shot and killed by Turkish troops two years ago.
The strip, patrolled by Turkish and Greek Cypriot troops, has divided Cyprus in two since 1974, when Turkey seized the northern part of the island.
A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus said in a statement that a Turkish soldier warned Evagorou several times that he was dangerously close to the Turkish position.
The statement said the Turkish guard shouted ″stop″ three times in Greek and then fired once into the air, in accordance with military regulations, before shooting and wounding Evagorou from about four yards away.