Refugees from Haseke region in North East Syria attempted to cross the Syria-Turkish border on 5 October. However, they were killed in controversial circumstances in a minefield.
Four of the refugees were killed when a mine exploded. The remains of their bodies were transported to Kızıltepe Public Hospital mortuary. It was confirmed by autopsy that the refugees had died due to explosive material and the identities of the refugees could not be determined.
The relatives of the refugees, who live in Haseke, will be contacting the Human Rights Association (İHD) in Turkey to collect the mortal remains of the four refugees. Several refugees have lost their lives due to mines exploding along the Syria-Turkey border for several years. Many of the dead have been buried in the cemetery of the nameless in Kızıltepe district of the city of Mardin in Turkey.
If the relatives of the four deceased refugees do not collect their remains by 20 October, they will also be buried in the cemetery of the nameless.
What Happened along the border?
According to Mesopotamia Agency’s reporter Ahmet Kanbal, the refugees were trying to travel from Heseke in Syria to the Kızıltepe district of Mardin in Turkey. Ten refugees were spotted by Turkey’s border secutity forces and the refugees tried to flee. However, six of them were apprehended, one crossed the border and reached Kızıltepe whilst the remaining three could not cross the border.
Reportedly, the border security forces coerced one of the refugees they apprehended to search for the other refugees in the minefield. When the refugee had refused to do so, soldiers had reportedly battered him/her and forced him/her into the minefield area. After that, when other refugees were seen, the soldiers had opened fire. As they tried to escape the gunfire, they lost their lives due to mines exploding. Five other refugees witnessed the incident.
Later, the refugees were sent to the prosecutor’s office before being deported from Turkey. The incident was revealed after the testimony of A.J. and an investigation was launched into the incident by Kızıltepe public prosecutor’s office.