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Turkey Shuts Crossing with Syria Amid Anti-Refugee Riots

The Turkey-Syria border. wikimedia.org
The Turkey-Syria border. wikimedia.org

The government in Ankara closed the border crossings into northwest Syria on Tuesday after several of the country’s soldiers were fired upon by Syrians angered at acts of violence against some of their fellow citizens in Turkey.

The decision was reportedly linked to a Sunday incident where a Syrian man living in the Turkish city of Kayseri was arrested for allegedly sexually abusing a 7-year-old female relative.

As a result of the allegations, reports surfaced of violence directed towards the local Syrian community that eventually spread to the provinces of Bursa, Gaziantep, Hatay, Konya, and the city of Istanbul. At least four people are believed to have been killed in the disorder.

Reuters reported that law enforcement officials detained 474 people suspected of participating in the attacks.

Turkey is home to an estimated 3.5 million Syrian refugees who settled in the West Asian nation because of the 2011 Syrian Civil War.

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