About 1,000 Syrians have fled clashes between Islamist rebels and an al-Qaeda-linked group in northern Syria and have crossed into Turkey at the border town of Akçakale, where all schools have been closed for security reasons.

The fleeing Syrians were first stopped and sent back to Syria by Turkish troops on the border, private Doğan news agency reported on Thursday. But as the clashes intensified in Tel Abyad, a Syrian border town, the group came back. This time, they were allowed to enter Turkey. The Syrians were then taken via bus to a refugee camp.

Doğan quoted local sources as saying that the Syrians fled to Turkey after fighters of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) told them to leave or be killed.