ISTANBUL, Turkey, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Turkish activists attacked a group of German soldiers deployed to man the Patriot air defense system set up on the Syrian border, police said.
The soldiers were shopping in Iskenderun when they were surrounded by a group of Turkish Youth Union activists protesting the soldiers' presence in the country. The activists attempted to put sacks over the soldiers' heads, the Turkish daily Today's Zaman said Wednesday.
The soldiers fled to a nearby jewelry store as riot police arrived, the paper said. The activists chanted slogans, and scuffled with police. District Police Chief Cengiz Basar accused the group of violating public order.
Twenty-eight activists were arrested, including the leader of the Turkish Youth Union, the paper said.
NATO agreed to a Turkish request to deploy Patriot air defense batteries on its borders with Syria to protect it from a possible missile threat as Syrian government forces continue to battle rebels.
On Jan. 21 the first batch of Patriot missile systems arrived in Iskenderun, operated by Dutch and German soldiers, The Hurriyet Daily News said.