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Turkish teen killed by gunfire from Syria border clashes

Spillover from the fighting, including ricocheting bullets, has injured numerous civilians on the Turkish side in recent months

AFP , Wednesday 17 Jul 2013
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A 17-year-old Turk died of his injuries in a southeastern town on Wednesday after being hit by stray gunfire coming across the border from war-torn Syria, Turkish media reported.

Mahsun Ertugrul died in hospital after receiving a gunshot to the chest in the small Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar on Tuesday, Dogan news agency said.

A 15-year-old boy from the same town was in intensive care after being struck in the head by a bullet from Syria, it added.

Ceylanpinar lies across from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain where rebels from the Free Syrian Army have been clashing with Kurdish fighters loyal to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) -- Syria's branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Spillover from the fighting, including ricocheting bullets, has injured numerous civilians on the Turkish side in recent months.

Kurds comprise 10 percent of Syria's total population, with most living in the north of the embattled country.

Since the outbreak of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad more than two years ago, most Kurds have tried to ensure that their areas remained violence-free.

Last summer, Assad's forces withdrew from majority Kurdish areas, and Kurdish militia became responsible for security there.

Although many Kurds feel hostile to a regime that has oppressed them for decades, they have also tried to keep the rebels out of the areas they control in order to avoid sparking a confrontation with the army.

The death of the teenage boy sparked anger in Ceylanpinar, where locals tried to prevent an injured Syrian who was evacuated to Turkey from being taken to hospital before being dispersed by police, Dogan said.

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