Syria has planted landmines near its border with Turkey along routes used by refugees fleeing the regime’s deadly crackdown on dissent, the Turkish deputy prime minister said on Thursday.
“The Syrian administration has been planting mines, taking measures not to allow refugees to flee to the other side of the border,” Besir Atalay said in televised remarks.
Atalay said the Syrian army was militarily intervening in any attempt by the people fleeing the unrest. “Many have lost their lives,” he added.
The number of Syrians arriving at the Turkish border is increasing daily. Around 1,000 Syrian refugees, including a defecting general, flocked into Turkey in the last 24 hours, the foreign ministry said Thursday.
According to monitoring groups, more than 8,000 people have been killed in Syria, the majority of them civilians, in a brutal crackdown on an anti-regime revolt that erupted a year ago.