Human Rights Watch says Turkish border guards are continuing to shoot and beat Syrian refugees trying to cross into Turkey and is calling on the country to investigate abuses.

The advocacy group said in a statement Tuesday Turkish border guards in March and April used excessive force against Syrians and a smuggler trying to reach Turkey, killing five people, including a child and injuring 14 others.

The group also urged Turkey to reopen its border to Syrians.

Turkey, home to 2.7 million Syrian refugees, rejects claims that its border guards shoot at refugees and says it has an open-door policy toward migrants, although new arrivals are rare.

Human Rights Watch researcher Gerry Simpson said: "Firing at traumatized men, women, and children fleeing fighting and indiscriminate warfare is truly appalling."