Turkish border guards killed at least 11 Syrian refugees, including at least three children, who were trying to cross into Turkey illegally on Sunday, Syrian activists and a monitoring group said.

The refugees were shot as they tried to enter Turkish territory near the border crossing of the Syrian town of Jisr al-Shoughour, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, monitoring group based in Britain, said in a statement on its website. Several other refugees were wounded, the group said.

Jisr al-Shoughour has become a key smuggling route since Turkey closed its borders to Syrian refugees this year.

A senior Turkish official said that the killings could not be independently verified and that an investigation was underway. Turkey, which is a host to nearly three million refugees, has denied similar previous allegations and maintains that it allows entry to refugees whose lives are under imminent threat.

The monitoring group said nearly 60 civilians had been shot this year while trying to flee to Turkey from Syria. Last month, Human Rights Watch published a report accompanied by video that purported to show refugees being beaten up and shot at by Turkish border guards.

Read More- New York Times

Image courtesy of Reuters