independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Kurdish rebels shot dead in Paris

Kurdish activists gather outside a building where three Kurdish women were shot dead in Paris (AP)

Three Kurdish women, including one of the founders of a militant group battling Turkish troops, have been "executed" at a Kurdish centre in Paris.

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

All three were reportedly shot in the head, but police would not immediately confirm this.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who visited the pro-Kurdish centre in Paris where their bodies were found, said the deaths are "without doubt an execution." He called it a "totally intolerable act."

Hundreds of people, including Kurds, gathered on the street where the centre is located.

Police and firemen discovered the bodies at about 1:30 am today at the Kurdistan Information Centre.

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 that the murders were an attempt to derail those talks.

The conflict between 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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