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Suspicious packets sent to western consulates in Turkey

Security alerts have been declared in the Turkish city of Istanbul after the consulates of five western countries were sent packets of unidentified yellow powder, Reuters has reported.

Sixteen people were taken to hospital as a precaution after the suspicious deliveries to the consulates of the United States, Canada, France, Germany and Belgium, including 10 from the Canadian consulate.

Members of Turkey's disaster management agency removed bags from the Canadian consulate in Istanbul after the delivery of a suspicious package. Credit: Reuters

The packets were treated as a heightened potential threat following the militant attacks in Canada this week with other consulates and embassies reviewing their security measures.

Tests on the powder will be delivered on Monday.

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'At least nine killed' in Turkey anti-IS protests

Demonstrators in Turkey have clashed with police as they protest against Islamic State's (IS) advance on the besieged northern Syrian border town of Kobani.

At least nine protesters have been killed in the country, according to Agence France-Presse.

Thousands of Kurds have joined protests in several countries, including the UK.

British men 'traded by Turkey for IS hostages'

Two British men were among a group traded by Turkey in return for diplomats held by Islamic State (IS), the Times (£) reports.

The paper claims Shabazz Suleman, 18, and Hisham Folkard, 26, were among as many as 180 militants used to secure the release of 46 Turkish citizens and three local staff, who were captured in the Iraqi city of Mosul almost five months ago.

The Foreign Office (FCO) told ITV News that they were aware of the disappearance of Suleman, saying:

“We are aware of a British national reported missing in Turkey in 2014. We are providing consular assistance to the family.”

The FCO also confirmed that Folkard is British.

Turkish forces clash with refugees on Syrian border

Turkish security forces have clashed with Kurdish refugees trying to cross the border from Syria, where they are fleeing an advance by Islamic State militants.

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister said an estimated 130,000 Kurds had crossed the border in the last three days.

The Turkish force fired water cannon and tear gas at the refugees, while on the Turkish side of the border some pro-Kurdish MPs staged a sit-down protest.

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Syrian Kurds 'halt Isamic State advance'

Syrian Kurdish fighters have halted an advance by Islamic State (IS) fighters east of the town of Kobani, a spokesman for the Kurdish forces said.

Thousands of Syrian Kurds have been crossing the border into Turkey fleeing the advance of IS. Read: Turkey 'prepared for the worst' over refugee crisis

Turkey 'prepared for the worst' over refugee crisis

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister has said his government is "prepared for the worst" as hundreds of thousands of refugees stream into his country from Syria.

A Turkish soldier stands guard as Syrian refugees wait behind a border fence. Credit: Reuters

"We are prepared for the worst scenario, which is an influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees," Numan Kurtulmus told reporters in the capital Ankara.

Turkey closes border posts to stop refugee influx

The Turkish government has closed many of its border posts with Syria to stop huge numbers of Kurdish refugees entering the country.

There are also reports that Turkey wants to stop Kurds crossing into Syria to join the fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

Syrian refugees waiting to cross the border into Turkey. Credit: PA

There were clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish protesters, with two people said to have been hospitalised.

Around 100,000 refugees have crossed into Turkey since the middle of last week as they flee the advance of IS.

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