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Türkei Suruc Grenze Syrien Proteste Kurden Wasserwerfer 21.09.2014
Image: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Turkish troops clash with Kurds

September 21, 2014

Turkish troops have fired water cannon and tear gas at Kurdish demonstrators during clashes on the Turkey-Syria border. Some 70,000 Syrians fleeing the "Islamic State" have now crossed into Turkey, the UN says.


Kurds on the Turkey-Syrian border came under fire from water cannon and tear gas during clashes with Turkish security forces on Sunday. Turkish troops were attempting to disperse crowds of Kurds, which had gathered in support of fellow Kurds fleeing an "Islamic State" (IS) offensive across the border from Syria.

The clashes took place at a barbed wire border fence just five kilometers from the town of Ayn al-Arab, where Kurdish fighters are holding off jihadists.

Hundreds of young demonstrators responded by hurling rocks at security forces. Police said security forces had been trying to prevent Kurdish fighters entering Syria, but local television reported that Kurds had been trying to take aid into Syria.

IS advance

The confrontation came just two days after Turkey opened its border to Syrians fleeing the town of Kobane in fear of an Islamic State attack. The UN refugee agency said on Sunday that some 70,000 Syrians have now crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours to seek refuge.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that IS militants have advanced to within ten kilometers (6 miles) of Ayn al-Arab, Syria's third largest Kurdish town. Kurdish militia defending Ayn al-Arab, known as Kobani in Kurdish, have lost 27 fighters since the jihadist offensive was launched last Tuesday, the human rights group said.

Türkei Suruc Grenze Syrien Proteste Kurden Wasserwerfer 21.09.2014
Kurdish protesters respond to Turkish forcesImage: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

A Kurdish politician from Turkey who visited Kobani on Saturday told Reuters news agency that locals had accused the IS fighters of beheading people as they captured one village after another.

ksb/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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