kobane.jpg
Photograph: Google maps

A Kurdish child was killed and dozens of people were injured on Friday when Turkish troops fired at Kurdish protesters in the Syrian city of Kobane near the border with Turkey, a monitoring group and Kurdish officials said.

The Turkish forces opened fire and threw teargas at the Kurds, who were protesting Turkey's construction of a separation wall on the border with Kobane, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added.

"A child was killed and more than 80 civilians were wounded in the shooting," Anwar Muslim, a Kobane official, said.

"They were unarmed civilians who were protesting after they saw that the Turkish army had moved 25 meters into their land," he told dpa by phone.

"We have no problem with them (Turkey) building a cement wall inside their land. But they are breaching our sovereignty." 

Kobane residents have staged protests since August 27 in the border area between the city and Turkey against the wall. They accuse the Turkish army of infiltrating deep inside Syrian territory, said the Britain-based Observatory that relies on a network of activists inside Syria.

Several protesters had suffered breathing difficulties after the Turkish forces hurled teargas canisters at them, Kurdish official Idriss Nassan told dpa earlier on Friday.

"The situation is still tense, but it is under control," Nassan added.

There was no official comment on the reported attack in Kobane from Ankara, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the state-run Anadolu news agency Thursday night that Turkey would not tolerate any terror organizations on the border to Syria.

"We won't allow for a terror corridor in northern Syria and south of us - I want people to know that," he said.

Last week, Turkey launched its first ground offensive in northern Syria.

Ankara said its operations there are aimed at both the Islamic State extremist group and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, which it regards as the Syrian branch of Kurdish rebels operating on its soil.

Kobane was the site of the first significant victory over Islamic State when Kurdish forces, backed by US-led air power, recaptured the city from the al-Qaeda splinter group in January 2015.

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