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Civilians Take Up Arms as ISIS Closes in on Syria's Kobani

/ Source: Reuters

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An increasingly bloody and desperate battle between ISIS militants and Kurdish forces for control of the Syrian border town of Kobani is sending a flood of injured civilians and fighters into Turkey. Monitors estimate several hundred have died on each side since the upsurge in violence in the area began more than two weeks ago. Even untrained civilians are being thrust onto the front line, to try to stop the radical Islamists' advance — and doctors at a hospital in the Turkish town of Suruc, six miles north of Kobani, are struggling to cope with the wounded.

"Everybody is fighting in Kobani. There are women my age who have been given hand grenades to throw," said 63-year-old Alife Ali, as she waited in the hospital, a small child in her arms. "Our people dug a [16 feet] deep and wide ditch around the town to protect it. We will fight to the last person." Hassan waited anxiously outside a room for a 20-year-old female relative, wounded in the fighting. "She took up arms," he said. "They gave her a gun though she had no experience." His mother, sitting next to him, said of ISIS: "God curse them. They are worse than monsters. Look at what they did to our people."

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- Reuters

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