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Multiple Syrian Refugees Injured In Turkey, Ceasefire Shaky


Multiple people were injured by Syrian gunfire Monday morning in a refugee camp on the Turkish side of the shared border, according to press accounts.

Numbers and details of the wounded varied, but Haaretz reported two Turkish officials were among at least five injured at the Kilis border refugee camp in Gaziantep province. Al Jazeera reported at least two Syrian refugees and a translator were among those injured.

The Syrian charge d'affaires in Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Monday after the incident, but there is no confirmation that the camp was intentionally targeted or whether the injuries were due to stray gunfire.

However, the incidents occurred amidst reports that government forces have been keeping Syrians from fleeing into Turkey by use of force.

The violence is a new blow to a UN-brokered ceasefire plan meant to take effect on Tuesday. Under the plan, administered by UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, Syrian government forces would begin pulling out troops from major cities on April 10 with a complete ceasefire to be implemented 48 hours later.

However, President Bashar al-Assad's government said this would only occur if the largest armed opposition group, the Free Syria Army (FSA), agreed in a written pledge to stop attacks and halt all foreign aid.

The group rejected this demand Monday, saying it supported the UN-brokered agreement but could not acquiesce to the government's demands.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch reported Monday over 100 people had been summarily executed by Syrian government forces in recent months, many in March alone. With the rise in violence, Syrian refugees continue to flee into surrounding countries as the tension continues unabated.

As of the end of March, 17,000 Syrian refugees had registered with the UN High Commissioner for refugee status in Turkey. An additional 6,000 had registered in Jordan and 17,000 in Lebanon.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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