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Turkish forces clash with Kurds

Turkish security forces have fired tear gas and water on dozens of Kurds in a village on the border with Syria where tens of thousands of Syrian Kurdish refugees have streamed into Turkey to escape the fighting with militants of the Islamic State group.

Authorities temporarily closed the border and refugees were piling up on the Syrian side of the frontier.

There were conflicting reports as to what caused the clashes. The state-run Anadolu Agency said Kurdish protesters threw stones at the security forces who prevented dozens of Kurdish onlookers from approaching the border.

Private NTV television said the security forces stopped a group of Kurds who claimed they wanted to take aid to beleaguered Kurds in Syria.

The UN refugee agency said some 70,000 Syrians have crossed into Turkey in the past 24 hours. They are seeking refuge from Islamic State militants who have barrelled through dozens of Kurdish villages in the Kobani area in northern Syria, near the Turkish border.

UNHCR spokeswoman Selin Unal said most of those coming across the border near Syria's northern town of Kobani are Kurdish women, children and the elderly.

She urged the international community to step up its aid for Syrian refugees in Turkey, already numbering some 1.5 million.

"Turkey is assisting with all needs but it's huge numbers," she said.

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