UN says 70,000 Syrian refugees cross into Turkey

KUCUK KENDIRCILER, Turkey –  The number of refugees seeking shelter in Turkey from the Islamic State group’s advance across northeastern Syria has hit 100,000, Turkey said Sunday as clashes broke out on the border between Turkish security guards and Kurds.


The head of Turkey’s AFAD disaster management agency, Fuat Oktay, said the figure relates to Syrians escaping the area near the Syrian border town Kobani, where fighting has raged between IS and Kurdish fighters since Thursday.


The U.N. refugee agency earlier Sunday said some 70,000 Syrians have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours, and that it was preparing for the arrival of hundreds of thousands more.


The Syrian refugees — most of them ethnic Kurds — have been desperate to reach Turkey and escape the advance of religious extremists barreling across Syria.


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