Syrian Kurdish forces fighting a bid by Islamic State insurgents to capture a key Syrian border city said Monday they had stopped one column of advancing rebels but were still besieged by the extremist group on three other fronts.

Kurdish militia commanders said heavy fighting was raging around Ayn al-Arab, where jihadists of Islamic State, backed by tanks and other heavy armor, have seized scores of villages and forced the evacuation of dozens more.

Authorities in the city, known in Kurdish as Kobani, were “very worried” it could still fall to Islamic State, said an official in the nearby Turkish town of Suruc.

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