Turkish Authorities Clash With Protesters at Syrian Border, Deny Reports of Dead, Wounded

Protesters near the northern Syrian city of Kobani demonstrate against Turkey's construction of a border wall, with locals claiming live fire was used, killing one.

Screenshot from ANHA footage of Turkish authorities firing water cannons on protesters at the Syrian border.
Screenshot/ANHA

REUTERS - Turkish security forces used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a group of protesters along the Syrian border on Friday, Turkish military sources said, but denied suggestions that they opened fire and killed at least one civilian.

The protesters were demonstrating against Turkey building a wall on the Syrian border near the Kurdish Syrian town of Kobani, the security sources said.

An official from the Kobani town council, Anwar Musallim, told Reuters that Turkish forces used live ammunition as well as tear gas. Musallim cited a local health official saying that one 17-year-old had been killed and 83 people wounded.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that one child had been killed and more than 30 people injured.

When asked about the reports, Turkish military sources said: "A group approached the border and attacked construction machinery, workers and soldiers on the border with stones. Tear gas and water cannon were used against them. There has been no incident of opening fire."

Footage from Kurdish news agency ANHA showed young men, some of them in bandanas, throwing stones from the Syrian side of the border as Turkish security forces sprayed them with water cannon in an attempt to push them back.

Kobani is about 35 km (22 miles) east of the Syrian border town of Jarablus, which Turkey-backed rebels seized last week from Islamic State in an incursion which has also seen clashes with Syrian Kurdish militia fighters.

Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State. But it views the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which is backed by Washington, as an extension of Kurdish militants who have waged a three-decade insurgency on its own soil.