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Kobane attackers came from Turkey

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Four Islamic State militants blew themselves up in Kobane, one detonating a car bomb at the Mursitpinar border crossing, having apparently come into the besieged city from Turkey.


Turkey's main Kurdish party accused the government of turning a blind eye to Islamic State militants on its soil on Saturday after suicide bombers attacked the Syrian border town of Kobane, one of them using a car that had apparently come from Turkey.

Four Islamic State militants blew themselves up in Kobane, one detonating a car bomb at the Mursitpinar border crossing. At least 30 people were killed in clashes across the town, a monitoring group and local officials said.

Kurdish militia have been holding off Islamic State fighters for more than two months in the town, known as Ayn al-Arab in Arabic. Neither side has gained a decisive advantage despite U.S.-led air strikes meant to push back the Islamist insurgents.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the vehicle used in the dawn car bombing had come from Turkish territory. A second bomber detonated an explosive vest in the same area, before two more suicide attacks hit the southwestern edge of the town, it said.

Idris Nassan, a Kurdish official in Kobane, said Islamic State snipers were hiding among grain depots on the Turkish side of the border and firing on the town.

Turkey's pro-Kurdish HDP also said the militants were using state grain storage facilities as a base and described their presence in an area patrolled by Turkish security forces as a "scandal".

"As we have been pointing out for months, this once more proves that Islamic State is being supported (from within Turkey)," the HDP said in a statement.

Turkey has vehemently denied supporting the jihadists, saying they are also a threat to its own national security.

A Turkish official had no immediate information on the attacks and Reuters could obtain no independent confirmation of the HDP's accusation that Islamic State fighters were firing from Turkish soil.

Ankara has refused to take a frontline role in US-led action against Islamic State, fearing it could strengthen Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces or Kurdish militias, both of which it sees as a threat.

The stance has infuriated Turkey's Kurds, prompting violent protests in October in which around 40 people were killed.

The Observatory said clashes broke out across Kobane on Saturday. It said Islamic State fighters fired at least 110 shells and were bringing in tanks. Two air strikes had targeted Islamic State positions to the east, it said.

At least 30 fighters were killed, said Rami Abdulrahman, the Observatory's director. Twenty-one were Islamic State fighters, including the four bombers. The rest were Kurdish forces.

By Reuters

4:52PM GMT 29 Nov 2014



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