2 refugees killed in cross-fire between Turkish security forces and migrant smugglers

Two refugees were killed and 12 others were injured after they were caught in cross-fire between Turkish security forces and migrant smugglers in Turkey’s southeastern Siirt province on June 27, Turkish media reported.

According to a statement published by the Siirt Governor’s Office, a truck carrying 84 refugees mainly from Afghanistan and Pakistan disobeyed an order to stop from gendarmes, who were targeted by shots from the truck and returned fire.

The injured were taken to a hospital and the truck driver was detained.

Home to some 4 million refugees, Turkey is a hot spot for migration flows as it shares a border with several European countries. Border cities have witnessed tragedies as migrants have tried to circumvent security forces at checkpoints.

Last year a boat carrying asylum seekers sank in Lake Van, which is located on Turkey’s eastern border. The victims were trying to avoid checkpoints by crossing the lake by boat. The incident resulted in the death of 100 people. The year before, seven asylum seekers died on the same route.

Mahmut Kaçan of the Van Bar Association said at a press briefing last year that authorities had failed to take any steps or turned a blind eye to migrant smugglers, thus paving the way for tragedy.

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