Turkish army says detains almost 800 trying to cross illegally from Syria

By REUTERS
July 7, 2015 16:13

 
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ISTANBUL - Turkey's army said on Tuesday it had detained almost 800 people trying to cross illegally from Syria, including three suspected Islamic State militants, after bolstering security in border areas near where the radical Islamists hold ground.

The military said 768 people had been detained on Monday alone while trying to cross the border. The three suspected Islamic State members were sent to jail in the southern city of Sanliurfa after being detained separately on July 2, it said.

Wary of advances by both Syrian Kurdish forces and Islamic State in northern Syria, Turkey has sent extra troops and equipment to strengthen parts of its 900 km (560-mile) border as the risk of spillover rises.

Turkey has maintained an open border policy throughout Syria's conflict, absorbing close to two million refugees, but requires legitimate refugees to pass through checkpoints and be documented. The military did not say why the 768 people had been detained.


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