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Police fire tear gas as Turks and Kurds clash

AFP · 31 Oct 2011, 09:11

Published: 31 Oct 2011 09:11 GMT+01:00

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French police fired tear gas to break up clashes that erupted between Turkish protesters and supports of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in central Paris on Sunday.

Around 150 young Turks waving their national flag and singing patriotic songs gathered on the Place de la Bastille to protest "terrorism in Turkey" after an attack by PKK rebels that killed 24 earlier this month.

Youths saying they were PKK supporters hurled stones and other objects at the gathering before police fired tear gas to disperse the Kurds.

One of the Turkish protest's organisers, Hakan Fakili, said that 10 people were injured but this was not possible to confirm.

Turkey launched a wide army operation against the PKK after they carried out a series of attacks that killed 24 soldiers and injured 18 others in Cukurca town of Hakkari province near the Iraqi border on October 18.

The latest attack of the PKK caused the biggest loss for the army since 1993, when the PKK rebels killed 33 unarmed soldiers.

Clashes between the PKK and the army have escalated since the summer.

Story continues below…

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms for Kurdish independence in southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

Turkey's last ground incursion into northern Iraq, an autonomous Kurdish region, was in February 2008, when the army struck against the Zap region.

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