January 17, 2015 12:51 pm
Updated: January 17, 2015 12:53 pm

Kurdish fighters clash with government forces in northeastern Syria

In this image shot with an extreme telephoto lens and through heat haze, as seen from Mursitpinar on the outskirts of Suruc, Turkey, at the Turkey-Syria border, a militant with the Islamic State group walks in the town of Kobani, Syria, during intensified fighting with Syrian Kurds, Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014.

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

BEIRUT – An activist group and a Kurdish official say clashes have broken out between Syrian government forces and Kurdish gunmen in the northeastern city of Hassakeh.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the clashes broke out Saturday after members of a Kurdish militia detained 10 Syrian soldiers and pro-government gunmen after they deployed in areas controlled by the Kurds.

Kurdish Democratic Union Party spokesman Nawaf Khalil says the fighting concentrated in several areas in the predominantly Kurdish city.

It has been rare for the two sides to clash since the government withdrew much of its forces from Kurdish areas in 2012 to support positions elsewhere in the country. Since then Kurdish fighters have openly deployed in the areas.

The Observatory said there are casualties on both sides.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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