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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:27 PM

Syrian soldiers targeting fleeing civilians: rights group

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday urged Syrian authorities to end the “indiscriminate” shootings of civilians fleeing to Jordan and other neighboring countries. “Syrian soldiers on the border with Jordan appear to be shooting indiscriminately at anyone -- including civilian women and children - trying to flee from Syria,” the U.S.-based HRW said in a statement.

There are another 38,000 refugees in Turkey, 22,000 in Lebanon and 3,129 in Iraq, according to the UN refugee agency and officials in those countries.

“Syria says it is fighting armed terrorists, yet its border forces appear to shoot at everyone crossing the border without distinction, attacking civilian men, women, children and the wounded the same way they attack fighters,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate for HRW.

“Syria is forcing its own desperate civilians to crawl out of their country under a hail of bullets,” he said. “By indiscriminately attacking civilians fleeing across its borders, Syria violates fundamental human rights, including the right to life, the right to leave one's country, and the right to seek asylum in another country.”


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