Cyprus Mail

Four dead as rockets hit teachers’ dormitory in Turkish border town

File photo of the Turkish military hitting Islamic State in Syria after a cross-border rocket attack

By Seyhmus Cakan and Orhan Coskun

Rockets crashed in the south-eastern Turkish town of Kilis near the Syrian border on Monday, one of them hitting a teachers’ dormitory, and four people were killed, hospital and security sources said.

Kilis, just across the border from an area of Syria controlled by Islamic State militants, has been frequently hit by rocket fire in recent weeks, prompting the Turkish military to return fire on militant positions.

Security sources said that five rockets landed in Kilis, including one in an area near the state hospital, and another striking the teachers’ dormitory near the town centre.

Hospital sources confirmed that four people had died and eight were wounded. Turkey‘s Dogan news agency said a Syrian national was among the dead and a child among the injured.

No one was immediately able to confirm whether the rockets were fired from Syria.

Last week more than 20 people were wounded in three straight days of rocket salvoes towards the town, where an estimated 110,000 Syrian refugees are housed.

Separately, Dogan reported that the Turkish military fired artillery into Syria after a mortar landed near an army outpost in the southern province of Hatay.

Following last week’s attacks Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the military was conducting a “decisive battle” to protect citizens from a “circle of fire”.

Turkey is facing several security threats. As part of a US-led coalition, it is fighting Islamic State in neighbouring Syria and Iraq as well as Kurdish militants in its own south-east, where a 2-1/2-year ceasefire collapsed last July, triggering the worst violence since the 1990s.

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