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Wednesday 24 September 2014

Kurd executions 'in interal fued'

Published 11/01/2013 | 06:36

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Several hundreds Turkish Kurds gather to protest the killings of three Kurdish women in Paris, France, in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir (AP)
A man reacts next to portrait of Sakine Cansizt inside the Kurdish cultural centre in Paris (AP)
View of the building where three Kurdish women were 'executed' in Paris, France (AP)

The killing of three women in Paris is likely to have been the result of an internal feud among Kurdish rebels, according to the Turkish prime minister.

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The three activists, including the founding member of the autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebel group the PKK, were shot dead in the French capital on Thursday at a time when their jailed leader is holding peace talks with Turkey.

Kurds have accused Turkey over the "executions", but Turkish officials have suggested the killings may be part of an internal feud or an attempt to derail the talks.

Turkish premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today that the Kurdish centre where the women died was protected by a coded lock. He suggested either the women opened the door to people they knew or the killers had the code. All three were reportedly shot in the head at the Kurdistan Information Centre.

One of the victims was reported to be Sakine Cansiz, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK.

Interior minister Manuel Valls, who visited the Kurdish centre on Thursday, said the deaths were "without doubt an execution". He called it a "totally intolerable act".

In Turkey, Huseyin Celik, the deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling party, said the attack appeared to be the result of "an internal feud" within the PKK, but did not provide any evidence to back the claim.

Turkey has resumed talks with the PKK with the goal of convincing the group to disarm. Mr Celik suggested the murders were an attempt to derail those talks.

The conflict between the PKK and Turkish troops has claimed tens of thousands of lives since the rebels - who are seeking self-rule for Kurds in south-east Turkey - took up arms in 1984.

Turkey's Western allies also label the group a terrorist organisation. The Kurdish minority comprises more than 20% of Turkey's 75 million people.

Press Association

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