Syrian troops 'planting landmines at escape routes'

Syrian troops 'planting landmines at escape routes'

Syrian troops have planted landmines along routes used by people fleeing the country's violence and trying to reach neighbouring Turkey, an international human rights group said today.

The New York-based Human Rights Watch said the mines have been planted in the past weeks.

HRW said its report, released today, 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 had planted landmines along parts of its border with Lebanon. The official at the time said the mines were aimed at preventing 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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