Syrian troops have planted landmines along routes used by people fleeing the country's violence and trying to reach neighbouring Turkey, an international human rights group has said.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch says the mines were planted in the past few weeks.
HRW says its report, released on Tuesday, is based on accounts from witnesses and also Syrian de-miners. It cites witnesses as saying the landmines have already caused civilian casualties.
A Syrian official and witnesses told The Associated Press in November that Syria planted landmines along parts of its border with Lebanon. The official at the time said the mines aim to prevent arms smuggling.
Thousands of Syrians have fled to Turkey and Lebanon since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began a year ago.
Meanwhile, a rebel attack before dawn on Tuesday on a military checkpoint in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan killed at least 10 Syrian soldiers, monitors said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a group of army deserters had carried out the attack in Maaret al-Numan, located in Syria's Idlib province.
The army has since March 9 carried out an offensive in the mountainous region near the Turkish border, in a bid to seize control of the city of Idlib and other towns of the province where rebels are based.
Dozens of people have been killed since last week in on-off army shelling of the city, which is now partly controlled by the regime, and in violence across the province.
On Monday, the army bombed the Dbeit and Ath-Thawra districts of Idlib, blasting several buildings, an anti-regime activist at the scene, Yasser, told AFP.
A top UN official said on Monday that more than 8,000 people have died in the Syrian government's crackdown on protests.
Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, the president of the UN General Assembly, also said that the 193-member assembly was ready to act on Syria if the UN Security Council remains deadlocked on taking action on the crisis.
"The conditions in Syria are appalling," Nasser said in a speech to the European parliament in Strasbourg.
"Over 8,000 people have been killed so far, including many women and children. Violations of human rights are widespread and systematic," the Qatari official added in the speech, whose text was released by his New York office.
The UN leadership had so far indicated that well over 7,500 people have been killed in Syria in the past year. Rights monitors say there have been more than 8,500 fatalities.
Russia and China have twice used their power as permanent members of the UN Security Council to veto council resolutions on Syria. Because of the divide, Arab nations had a resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad passed at the UN General Assembly in February.
"Should the Security Council remain deadlocked, I can assure you that the General Assembly stands ready to take further action," said Nasser, who will be the assembly president until September.