Tension escalates in Turkey southeast, two killed: Official

Two people were killed and three injured Saturday in clashes between Kurdish rebels and a Sunni Islamist group in southeast Turkey near the Syrian border, a local governor`s office said.

Diyarbakir: Two people were killed and three injured Saturday in clashes between Kurdish rebels and a Sunni Islamist group in southeast Turkey near the Syrian border, a local governor`s office said.

Tensions have escalated in the town of Cizre since Friday night when the Sunni Muslim Huda-Par group attacked tents belonging to rebels of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK), a security source said.

Huda-Par is known to be the political extension of Turkish Hezbollah and has long been hostile to the PKK -- which has fought Turkish security forces in a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish self-rule.

The clashes in Cizre were continuing sporadically, the source said.

Fierce street fights between the Huda Par group and the PKK took place in Turkey`s pro-Kurdish southeast in October when the Islamic State was fighting Kurdish forces in the mainly Kurdish town of Kobane across the Syrian town.

Ankara has not intervened militarily against IS jihadists, to the fury of Turkey`s Kurds, who took to streets in a show of protest in October, leaving scores of people killed in the worst outbreak of such violence in years.

The trouble has raised fears that the standoff over Kobane could derail talks between the Turkish government and the PKK for a peaceful settlement.

 

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