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(NEWSER) – Three US sailors on port leave in Istanbul got an up-close look at anti-American sentiment when a group of young men began taunting and then physically confronting them, reports NBC News. At one point, the assailants put plastic bags over the heads of the Americans, who were not in uniform. All three managed to escape and were safely back aboard the guided missile destroyer USS Ross.

The incident began when one man announced, “Because we define you as murderers, as killers, we want you to get out of our land. Damn America!” Others in the group then began pelting the Americans with trash and roughing them up.

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