Two killed, two wounded as rocket projectiles from Syria hit Turkey’s Kilis
AA PhotosTwo people have been killed, including a toddler, while two others have been wounded as eight Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) rocket projectiles hit the southeastern border province of Kilis. The military fired back at ISIL targets within the rules of engagement.
The eight Russian-made projectiles that were fired from Syria’s al-Bab region started hitting the province at 2 p.m. on March 8. Two of them hit a local administration office in the Ekrem Çetin neighborhood and three others hit the Kazım Karabekir neighborhood. The three others hit the Turgut Özal and the Tibilevler neighborhoods of the southeastern city.
Three people, including two children, were wounded after a piece of shrapnel hit an automobile on the Kilis highway. Sıdıka Mavzer, 54, succumbed to her wounds in hospital while four-year-old Mert Özkan also died while being transferred to a hospital in Gaziantep from Kilis State Hospital. The other injured child was identified as Mert’s brother, Utku Özkan, aged six.
Kara said civilians were being targeted by ISIL and urged citizens to remain in their houses or workplaces and avoid crowded areas. He also announced students had been sent home from school for an undetermined amount of time for security reasons.
Quoting military sources, Doğan News Agency reported the Turkish military retaliated against ISIL with artillery fire, in accordance with the rules of engagement.
Over the first two months of this year, 554 suspected members of the jihadist group have been detained and 98 others have been arrested in counterterrorism operations conducted by police officers and gendarmerie forces across Turkey, the agency said, adding that a large number of documents related to the militant group along with weapons and ammunition were seized over the period.
In February, seven suspected ISIL members were detained in Kilis. Six others, including two foreign nationals, were detained in the southeastern province as they attempted to infiltrate Turkey from Syria.
ISIL was blamed for a bomb attack that killed four people at a rally of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which focuses on the Kurdish issue, in Diyarbakır on June 5, 2015. An ISIL militant also killed 33 people on July 20, 2015, in the southeastern district of Suruç. Later that year, two ISIL militants killed at least 102 people attending a peace rally in Ankara on Oct. 10, 2015, in the deadliest attack in the country’s history.
Another jihadist suicide attack blamed on ISIL took place in Istanbul’s touristic Sultanahmet area on Jan. 12, killing 12 German tourists.