Nine Syrian refugees were killed while they were trying to smuggle themselves across the border into Turkey, activists said Saturday.
The civilians, who were mainly coming from Latakia and the Idlib provinces along the border, were shot at by Turkish border guards during the night, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Ten people were also wounded.
Activists based at the Turkish-Syria border spoke with dpa and described the incident as "a massacre committed against unarmed Syrian civilians."
Pictures and videos posted by activists on social media showed what they said were the bodies of the civilians killed by Turkish gunfire. These images cannot be independently verified.
Amnesty International reported last month that Turkish security forces have shot and injured civilians, including children, who "out of desperation have attempted to cross the border unofficially with the help of smugglers."
Syrian hospitals were receiving injured people almost daily as a result of the shooting incidents.
Officially, Turkey claims it has an open border policy for Syrians. However, the process of getting into Turkey is highly selective and tens of thousands of people are stranded on the Syrian side.
Turkey hosts more than 2 million Syrian refugees.
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