Published July 17, 2013
ISTANBUL (AFP) – A 17-year-old died of his injuries in a southeastern Turkish town on Wednesday after he was hit by stray gunfire coming across the border from war-torn Syria, local media reported.
Turk Mahsun Ertugrul died in hospital after the stray bullet struck him in the chest in the small border town of Ceylanpinar on Tuesday, Dogan news agency said.
A 15-year-old boy from the same town was in intensive care after a stray bullet from the Syrian side struck him in the head, it added.
Ceylanpinar lies across the border from the northern Syrian town of Ras al-Ain where rebels from the Free Syrian Army have been clashing with Kurdish fighters loyal to the Democratic Union Party (PYD) -- the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Syrian border clashes have spilled over into Turkey in recent months, injuring many civilians in the cross-fire.
Kurds make up 10 percent of Syria's total population, with most living in the north of the embattled country.
Since the outbreak of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad more than two years ago, most Kurds have tried to ensure that their territory remained free of violence.
In mid-2012, Assad's forces withdrew from majority Kurdish areas, and Kurdish militia became responsible for security there.
Although many Kurds are hostile to a regime that has oppressed them for decades, they have also tried to keep the rebels out of the areas they control in order to avoid sparking a confrontation with the army.
The death of the teenage boy sparked anger in Ceylanpinar, where locals tried to prevent an injured Syrian who was evacuated to Turkey from being taken to hospital before being dispersed by police, Dogan said.