Casualties as shells 'fired from Syria' hit Turkey school

Casualties as shells 'fired from Syria' hit Turkey school
At least one person has been killed after a mortar shell landed near a school in the border province of Kilis, southeastern Turkey, with at least one other person wounded.
2 min read
18 January, 2016
The mortar attack hit comes amid rising tensions with Islamic State and Kurdish rebels [Anadolu]
A female school employee was killed and a female student wounded on Monday after a rocket believed to have come from Syria struck a school in Turkey's southeastern border province of Kilis, a statement from the provincial governor's office said.

The wounded student was taken into surgery, the governor's office said, adding that two other rockets also thought to have been fired from neighbouring Syria had landed in an empty field next to the school.

Footage broadcast on the website of the Hurriyet newspaper showed what appeared to be a body lying by the door of the school in Kilis town, the provincial capital, as shocked women and children were escorted from the building.

Kilis is on the edge of a roughly 100 km strip of Syrian border territory controlled by the Islamic State (IS) group. Turkish towns in the region have frequently seen artillery fire spill over during Syria's civil war, about to enter its sixth year. Turkey's armed forces have responded in kind.

But NATO member Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against the Sunni radicals, has also become a target for IS. A suicide bombing last week in Istanbul, blamed on the group, killed 10 German tourists, while bombings in Ankara and the border town of Suruc last year killed more than 135 people.

Turkish tanks and artillery bombarded IS positions in Syria and Iraq in the days after last Tuesday's bombing in Istanbul, killing almost 200 of its fighters, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said.

Kilis mayor Hasan Kara told Turkey's NTV that at least two mortar shells were thought to have been fired from Syria, one hitting the school and the other landing in an empty field.

Ankara has been accused by some Western allies of waking up too late to the threat from IS and allowing foreign fighters to cross its territory and join the group's ranks in the early stages of the conflict, charges it denies.