SURUC, Turkey (AP) — Lugging sacks of belongings, hobbling on crutches, carrying children on their hip, more than 60,000 mostly Kurdish refugees in Syria have streamed across the dusty and barren border into Turkey, desperately seeking safety after Islamic State militants attacked their villages.
The large-scale displacement of so many and the movement of the Kurdish fighters into Syria reflected the ferocity of the fighting in the northern Kobani area, which borders Turkey, prompted hundreds of Kurdish fighters to rush to the area and Kurdish leaders to plead for international help.
Civilians began massing on the Turkish border on Thursday. Turkey did not let them in at first, saying it would provide them with aid on the Syrian side instead. By Friday, it had changed its mind. The numbers grew quickly as more entry points opened, and by late Saturday afternoon, more than 60,000 had poured across the frontier, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said.
Here is a gallery of images of the refugees.
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