Refugee tally to Turkey hits 100 000

2014-09-21 19:29
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Kucuk Kendirciler - The number of refugees seeking shelter in Turkey from the Islamic State group's advance across north-eastern Syria reached 100 000, Turkey said on Sunday as clashes broke out on the border between Turkish security guards and Kurds.

The head of Turkey's disaster management agency, Fuat Oktay, said the figure relates to Syrians escaping the area near the Syrian border town of Kobani, where fighting has raged between ISIS and Kurdish fighters since Thursday.

The UN refugee agency earlier on Sunday said about 70 000 Syrians had crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours and that it was preparing for the arrival of hundreds of thousands more.

The Syrian refugees, most of them ethnic Kurds, have been desperate to reach Turkey and escape the advance of religious extremists barreling across Syria.

Heavy clashes broke out between the Islamic State group and Kurdish fighters only a few kilometres from Kobani, which is also known as Ayn Arab.


The Islamic State group was bombarding villagers with tanks, artillery and multiple rocket launchers, said Nasser Haj Mansour, an official at the defence office in Syria's Kurdish.

"They are even targeting civilians who are fleeing," said Haj Mansour.

As refugees flooded in, Turkey closed the border crossing in Kucuk Kendirciler, a small village about 2km from Kobani, to Turkish Kurds, with local police saying they were seeking to prevent Kurdish fighters from entering Syria.

Clashes broke out as Kurds trying to approach the crossing from inside Turkey scuffled with security forces, which attacked crowds with tear gas, paint pellets, and water.

The state-run Anadolu Agency reported Kurdish protesters had hurled stones at the security forces.

Read more on:    isis  |  turkey  |  syria

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