Damascus: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has approved a law that would penalise illegal entrants to Syria to several years of imprisonment, a Syrian state-run news agency reported.

Whoever enters Syria illegally will be either imprisoned from one to five years or fined by five to 10 million Syrian pounds (around USD 25,000 to USD 50,000), the report said.

The law was approved just a day after the Syrian parliament approved a draft law that toughened the penalty to life imprisonment against illegal recruitment of minors in the current civil war in Syria. The penalty could reach execution if any of the children die, Xinhua cited the report as saying.

The Syrian government has for long accused foreign countries of facilitating the flow of armed rebels into the country and said that armed opposition groups recruit children in their fight against government troops.

Around 93,000 people have been killed in the conflict that began in March 2011, according to UN estimates.


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