18 injured as shells hit Turkish border towns

AFP Akçakale, Turkey Oct 10, 2019, 06.44 PM(IST)

A picture taken in Akcakale at the Turkish border with Syria on October 10, 2019 shows smokes rising from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad after a mortar landed in the garden of a Turkish government building in Akcakale. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Turkey says its operation is aimed at pushing back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers 'terrorists', and establishing a 'safe zone' with which to repatriate Syrian refugees

At least 18 people were injured in shelling on Turkish border towns on Thursday, local media said, a day after Ankara launched an operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Three people were injured, one seriously, when shells hit a government building in Akcakale, according to an AFP journalist on the scene.

Smoke was seen rising from several places around the town, and shelling was ongoing, AFP reporters said. 

Turkish media said injuries were reported in Akcakale and Ceylanpinar. 

They lie just across the border from the Syrian towns of Tal Abyad and Ras Al-Ain, which have been the focus of Turkey's operation against Kurdish forces since it was launched on Wednesday.

Families were evacuating and streets emptying in Akcakale, as local authorities called on people to take shelter. 

One man was seen telling his family: "Run, come quickly."

Turkey says its operation is aimed at pushing back Syrian Kurdish forces, which it considers "terrorists", and establishing a "safe zone" with which to repatriate Syrian refugees.