Three Syrians trying to cross the border into Turkey have been killed by Turkish border guards, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported. At least seven others were also injured by the troops near the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad in al-Raqqa province on Friday, Rami Abdelrahman, the Syrian Observatory’s head, told Al Jazeera.
Two of those killed were reportedly women. The Syrian Observatory is a UK-based monitoring group that relies on activists on the ground for information. Abdelrahman said that witnesses had told him that border guards urged the Syrians to “back off and return” before opening fire on them at close range.
He said that Friday’s deaths were the latest in a wave of lethal shootings by Turkish troops of Syrians attempting to flee their country’s conflict over the last three months. “Since May 30, at least 29 Syrian civilians have been killed by Turkish border guards,” he said.
The Turkish foreign ministry, which was contacted by Al Jazeera on Friday for comment, said it was preparing a response. Turkey, which has registered about two million Syrian refugees since the Syrian conflict began in 2011, continues to see large numbers of Syrians seeking refuge in the country.