Two killed as rockets from Syria hit southern Turkish town: mayor

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - A young child and another person were killed on Tuesday when rocket fire hit the Turkish town of Kilis from across the Syrian border, the mayor and security sources said, in an attack that Ankara blamed on Islamic State militants.

Kilis, near Turkey’s southern border with Syria, was hit by a series of eight rockets, with one landing near a hospital, mayor Hasan Kara said.

Turkish security sources said two more people were injured.

“The first rocket landed in an empty field. Then, when people started gathering, they started firing around those areas,” Kara said. “They are being fired intentionally.”

A residential area near a high school was also hit and the Turkish military returned fire into Syria, the security sources said.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference that Islamic State militants were responsible for the attack.

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The attack showed how “fragile” the Syrian ceasefire is, he said. Davugtoglu was speaking at a joint news conference with his Greek counterpart in the Aegean coastal city of Izmir.

The ceasefire agreement, accepted by the Syrian government and most of those fighting against it, has reduced violence in Syria since it took effect on Feb. 27, the first truce of its kind in a 5-year-old war that has killed more than 250,000 people and caused the world’s biggest refugee crisis.

Islamic State is one of the Islamist insurgent groups not taking part in the ceasefire.

The area of Syria from where the rockets probably came is believed to be under the control of Islamic State, Kara said.

On Monday, the U.S. military said coalition forces had targeted the militant group in Iraq and Syria with two dozen strikes near 15 cities.

Live footage from broadcaster TRT World captured the sound of a large explosion, followed by a plume of black smoke rising from nearby buildings.

Local schools had been shut but the town was calm, Kara said.

Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan in Diyarbakir and Akin Aytekin and Yesim Dikmen in Istanbul and Dasha Afanasieva in Izmir; Writing by Ayla Jean Yackley and David Dolan; Editing by Nick Tattersall and Louise Ireland