Turkish border guards 'kill 11 Syrian refugees, including women and children

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Turkish border guards shot dead at least 11 Syrians, mostly from one family, as they tried to cross into Turkey from north-western Syria, an independent monitoring group said on Sunday.

At least two women and four children were among those killed in the shootings overnight as the refugees sought to cross into Turkey from the border village of Khirbet al-Jouz, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Several activists in the area backed up the report. The monitor, which tracks violence across Syria, said it had documented the deaths of nearly 60 civilians while trying to flee from Syria since the start of the year in shooting incidents by Turkish border guards. Turkish military sources denied the reports.

"Claims that Turkish soldiers killed nine people that were trying to cross the border in Hatay province ... are not true," one Turkish military source said. "Last night there was an attempt to cross the border illegally but no shots were fired directly on people. After warning shots, a group of seven to eight people ran towards the woods."
Turkey, a major sponsor of groups fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has mostly closed its borders to Syrian refugees, but admits Syrians whose lives are under imminent threat.

Reuters

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