A 15-year-old Turkish boy died late on Wednesday from injuries sustained last week when he was hit by stray bullets from Syria during clashes between Kurdish fighters and Islamist rebels near the Turkish border, hospital sources said.
Fighting in the border area has fuelled fears in Ankara about violence spilling from Syria’s civil war into Turkey, and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called a meeting with his military and intelligence chiefs and senior cabinet ministers on Wednesday to discuss the unrest.
The town of Ras al-Ain in northeastern Syria has seen intense clashes between Democratic Union Party (PYD) fighters, a Syrian Kurdish party with links to Kurdish militants in Turkey, and Islamist Arab rebels from the al Qaeda-linked Nusra front.
Turkish troops shot at PYD fighters in Syria last week in line with its rules of engagement after two rocket-propelled grenades from Syria struck a border post on the Turkish side.
The recent capture of Ras al-Ain by the PYD has raised alarm in Ankara that the emergence of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syria could embolden homegrown militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is fighting for autonomy in Turkey.