NEWS

Cyprus soldier crosses the line

Authorities in Nicosia yesterday criticized the actions of a Greek Cypriot soldier who crossed the buffer zone dividing the island, entered an unmanned Turkish Cypriot guardhouse and returned with a Turkish flag and military equipment. Cyprus government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou stressed that Nicosia did not approve of provocative actions in the ceasefire area. «Such activities pose a danger to the lives of national guards and are a source of other possible consequences, so they have to be avoided,» Stefanou said. The soldier, who was not named, has been arrested by Greek Cypriot military police. The items he removed from the Turkish guardhouse – a flag, a bulletproof vest and a helmet – have been returned to Turkish officials. In 1996, an unarmed Greek Cypriot was shot dead when he tried to take down a flag outside a Turkish guardpost.