An Iraqi Kurdish border guard
An Iraqi Kurdish border guard stands near the closed gates of the Iranian side of the Iraq-Iran border post of Haj Omran. Safin Hamed - Getty Images

Five Kurdish border guards were killed in a blast in the north-east Syrian city of Qamishli on Saturday 30 April. Kurdish news website Rudaw said a suicide bomb had killed the five members of Asayish, the Kurdish security organisation under the command of the security forces of the PYD, and wounded several others in the Corniche area of the city.

The identity of the bomber has not yet been revealed, but violence on border posts in the region is not uncommon. Many refugees trying to escape violence in Syria have been abused or killed by guards on both sides of the Turkey-Syria border, as documented by Amnesty International. Sixteen were killed in March 2016 alone while trying to cross from Syria into Turkey.

Tirana Hassan, crisis response director at Amnesty International, told IBT "Turkey's highly selective practice is appalling — only severely injured people are allowed entry to seek medical treatment while everyone else fleeing the violence is left unprotected."

Qamishli has been a focal point of clashes between Syrian government forces and Kurdish fighters. Most of the city is under Kurdish control, with pockets controlled by the Syrian regime.

Fierce battles in April between the two sides prompted a truce on 22 April, after an earlier ceasefire agreed in Geneva in February failed to hold. A Syrian Kurdish official told Reuters that was the second biggest outbreak of fighting between President Bashar al-Assad's government and regional Kurdish forces since Syria's civil war began in 2011.

Kurdish groups voted in March 2016 to form an autonomous federation in Northern Syria, mainly under the control of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Areas under Kurdish control in Iraq are also trying to hold off against Isis, after they launched chemical weapons attacks in Kurdish areas.