ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A traffic accident in Turkey’s southern Hatay Province on Sunday killed 10 Syrian refugees, six of them children, who were smuggled into the country.
The accident involving a minibus carrying the refugees and a truck took place in the Altinozu district of Hatay that is on the border with the Syrian province of Idlib and the Kurdish enclave of Afrin.
Eight others, all Syrian, were heavily wounded and taken to local hospitals for treatment, Kurdistan 24’s Ankara bureau said.
The driver, a Turkish citizen, was also killed, a press release by the Hatay governorate read, adding that an investigation by authorities was underway.
The privately-owned Dogan news agency said the minibus driver crashed into the truck coming from the opposite direction in a rural one-way road when he panicked and sped up upon receiving instructions from a unit of Turkish gendarmerie to stop for a routine vehicle check.
The truck shoved the vehicle full of refugees for meters until it stopped, the agency said.
Since the beginning of the civil war in Syria, Turkey, sharing an approximately 900 kilometers-long (560 miles) border with the war-torn country has become home to over three million people who sought refuge there.
In February 2017, the Turkish state finished the construction of a wall covering almost the entirety of its southern border with Syria to reduce the number of illegal crossings.
Millions of Syrians continue to reside in camps set up in provinces along the border or city centers across Turkey.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany