Clashes for Syria's Kobane kill 400 in three weeks: monitor

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern town of Suruc on October 6, 2014 (AFP Photo/Aris Messinis)

Beirut (AFP) - More than 400 people have been killed in three weeks of fighting between Islamic State group jihadists and Kurdish forces for the Syrian town of Kobane, a monitor said Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 412 people, including 219 IS jihadists, 173 Kurdish fighters and affiliated forces and 20 civilians, had been killed since September 16.

The group said it believed the real toll was much higher, but that it was difficult to document deaths in the clashes because of secrecy by fighters and the inaccessibility of much of the area.

IS jihadists began advancing on Kobane three weeks ago, quickly seizing a string of villages around the town, which is also known as Ain al-Arab.

The fighting has prompted a mass exodus of local residents, with some 186,000 fleeing across the border into Turkey.

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