Kurdish clashes in south Turkey turn deadly

Tensions run high in southeastern town of Cizre after fighting between rival Kurdish groups.

    Kurdish clashes in south Turkey turn deadly
    Turkish police struggle to contain security with members of PKK blocking roads and tensions remaining high [AFP]

    Two people have died and three others have been wounded in clashes between Islamists and Kurdish youths in Turkey's southeastern town of Cizre, the government has said.

    Security sources said clashes erupted in the early hours of Saturday between members of the Islamist Free Cause Party (Huda-Par) and youth groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    The two groups are historically fierce rivals. Huda-Par draws support from sympathisers of Turkey's Hizbullah group which fought the PKK in the 1990s.

    Tensions were still high in the town bordering Syria after the clashes, which the Turkish police had difficulty in containing, the security sources said.

    Security forces struggle

    The office of the governor of Sirnak province, which announced the two deaths, said in a statement: "Necessary work
    is still being carried out in the region with the help of our security forces, armoured vehicles and helicopters."

    Thirty-five people died in early October after Kurds rioted in several southeastern cities over what they perceived as the
    government's refusal to help Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters in the besieged town of Kobane across the border.

    The violence, the worst seen in the region in many years, was partly driven by intense clashes between Kurds and the
    Islamists.

    Calm in the region is key to a shaky peace process in which the government is negotiating an end to a 30-year insurgency with the jailed leader of the outlawed PKK who called a ceasefire last year.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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