Syria: Assad's Forces 'Lay Landmines' On Border As Civilians Flee Violence
A young boy lies in the dirt, shot by apparent sniper fire.
Another boy attempts to lift him onto the curb and pull him to safety.
Before he can manage it another shot rings out - there is a puff of smoke, a moment of silence as the cameraman retreats behind a wall, and then the boy falls back and disappears.
The first injured boy is left alone on the ground to make it to safety. He attempts to stand but his legs buckle, and as he slowly drags himself across the floor he turns to reveal a bloody gunshot wound in the small of his back.
This harrowing scene was captured in video recorded in the Syrian city of Homs on Monday. Shot in the Hooleh area of the city, where violence continues despite widespread international condemnation, the video can be watched below, but caution is advised.
It was not possible for the Huffington Post UK to verify the video independently.
The latest accounts of violence in Syria come after reports yesterday that children had been burned alive in front of their mothers in revenge attacks by government militias.
Even as civilians flee from the cities they are being cut down by government forces, who have placed landmines close to the border of Lebanon and Tukey according to a new investigation by the Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The New York-based group published photos of 300 PMN-2 antipersonnel mines removed from the ground near Idlib.
Witnesses said that the Syrian army had placed the devices in January.
A resident of the border town of Kherbet al-Joztold the group: "From 10 February to 1 March, we saw the Syrian army, around 50 soldiers accompanied by two big military cars, putting landmines.
"There is a road right on the Turkish side, and they started 20 meters away from it. On 4 March around midnight, we heard a landmine explosion followed by gunfire shooting for 30 minutes from the Syrian side."
A 15-year-old boy from Tal Kalakh lost his right leg to a landmine in February, and told HRW:
"I was in Tel Kalakh when we received a wounded person from Bab Amr ... My brother who is in Lebanon told me to transfer the wounded person to Wadi Khaled. I waited until it was dark outside, and walked across the fields filled with thorns. ... I was less than 50-60 meters away from crossing the border when the landmine exploded. The injured person died and I was severely injured. My brother waiting for me in his car saw the explosion. He put me in the car and drove away."
Syria is not among the 159 countries who have signed the 1997 international Mine Ban Treaty.
"Any use of antipersonnel landmines is unconscionable," said Steve Goose, arms division director at Human Rights Watch. "There is absolutely no justification for the use of these indiscriminate weapons by any country, anywhere, for any purpose."
Meanwhile UN and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan is holding a second day of talks In Turkey after his visit to Damascus over the weekend ended in no assurance of an imminent ceasefire.
The Human Rights Council yesterday documented abuses committed by government forces as well as some opposition fighters.
Syria's representative at the Human Rights Council (HRC), Fayssal Al-Hamwi, said that the uprising in the country was controlled by foreign countries including Israel.
"The crisis in Syria isn't peaceful demonstrations," he said according to the Sana state media news agency. "It is a political scheme carried out by external sides.
He added: "The determination of the committee to politicise its work and offer results based on illegal, non-objective and untrue criterion made it lack moral and legal duty … and this pushes the Syrian government to reject the report."
On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Security Council that Syria's "horrific campaign of violence" had "shocked the conscience of the world".
She called on Russia and China, who have previously vetoed resolutions condemning the violence and calling on President Assad to leave office, to change their stance.
Clinton said: "Now is the time for all nations, even those who have previously blocked our efforts, to stand behind the humanitarian and political approach spelled out by the Arab League."
The United Nations says that at least 8,000 people have been killed since the start of the uprising in March 2011.