Middle East

Rights group: Syria laying mines in border areas

BEIRUT: An international human rights group says Syrian troops have planted landmines along routes used by people fleeing the country's violence and trying to reach neighboring Turkey.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch says the mines were planted in the past weeks.

HRW says its report, released on Tuesday, is based on accounts from witnesses and also Syrian de-miners. It cites witnesses as saying the landmines have already caused civilian casualties.

A Syrian official and witnesses told The Associated Press in November that Syria planted landmines along parts of its border with Lebanon. The official at the time said the mines aim to prevent arms smuggling.

Thousands of Syrians have fled to Turkey and Lebanon since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began a year ago.





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