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Three wounded in Turkey as 'IS rockets' hit town centre

AFPAFP 7/04/2016

Emergency services evacuate an injured man on a stretcher on January 18, 2016 after mortar shells landed near a school in Kilis © Provided by AFP Emergency services evacuate an injured man on a stretcher on January 18, 2016 after mortar shells landed near a school in Kilis Three people were wounded on Thursday when two Katyusha-type rockets fired from an area in Syria controlled by Islamic State (IS) jihadists slammed into the centre of a Turkish town close to the Syrian border, a report said.

The rockets hit the centre of the town of Kilis at around 05:45 GMT, the Dogan news agency reported. Ambulances were sent to the scene as police threw a security cordon around the area.

Dogan said one of the rockets hit a building used by Syrian refugees and two of those wounded were Syrian citizens.

Another person was wounded by the second rocket and police also evacuated a school nearby.

Pictures broadcast by Turkish television showed the rockets had badly damaged masonry and windows on one building.

Kilis, where according to Turkish officials Syrian refugees now outnumber the native Turkish population, has been hit several times by IS fire.

In March, two people including a four-year-old child were killed by rocket fire there, while in January a janitor was killed and pupil wounded when IS fire hit a school.

Turkey has on occasion been accused by its western allies of not doing enough to combat the threat of IS, which captured swathes of Iraq and Syria right up to its border.

But Ankara is now playing a key role in the US-led anti-IS coalition and hosting foreign warplanes at its Incirlik airbase for strikes on the group.

The latest attack comes after Turkish armed forces launched repeated artillery strikes in the last weeks on IS positions in Syria.

A fragile ceasefire backed by Turkey has taken effect in Syria, but the deal does not apply to territory held by the IS group and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

Turkey has also been hit by attacks blamed on IS jihadists, including two deadly suicide bombings in Istanbul that targeted foreign tourists.

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