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Last Updated: Monday, 3 April 2006, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Two more die after Turkey rioting
Protest in Viransehir
Crowds in Viransehir threw stones at police
Two more people have died of injuries sustained in clashes between security forces and Kurdish protesters in south-eastern Turkey.

The deaths bring the total number killed in the region to 12. Three others have died in Istanbul.

Violence continued for a seventh day as several hundred Kurdish protesters clashed with police in Viransehir.

The riots began last Tuesday after funerals for 14 suspected Kurdish militants, killed last weekend.

In Viransehir, violence broke out on Monday when police tried to disperse a crowd of about 500 protesters. Some demonstrators had been throwing petrol bombs and stones.

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The two latest fatalities - a man of 78 and another of 18 - died in hospital in the Kurdish-dominated region's biggest city, Diyarbakir.

A doctor said one of the men, a teenager, was shot in the head.

We condemn all protests that fall outside democratic limits, but in a state based on the rule of law, no weapons can be used against an unarmed protest
Aysel Tugluk
Democratic Society Party

On Sunday, three women died in Istanbul, after unidentified attackers threw petrol bombs at a bus.

Some 200 pro-Kurdish protesters had blocked roads in the Bagcilar suburb of Istanbul and threw a petrol bomb at a passing bus. The women were killed, reportedly run over as the bus driver manoeuvred to escape the rioters.

In the south-eastern city of Kiziltepe, close to Turkey's border with Syria, reports said a 22-year-old Kurdish man was shot dead by troops in a second day of rioting.

Ankara says the violence has been orchestrated by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), branded a terrorist group by Turkey and the EU.

The prime minister has issued a stark warning that police will use force against the rioters, even if the crowds contain women and children.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford says local politicians in the south-east argue that force is not the answer. They say the scale of support for the unrest reveals deep frustration among many Kurds, who want greater cultural and political rights as well as economic improvement.

Political solution

Aysel Tugluk, co-chairman of largest pro-Kurdish party, the Democratic Society Party (DTP), blamed the government for the deaths and urged it to stop its "policy of violence".


"We condemn all protests that fall outside democratic limits, but in a state based on the rule of law, no weapons can be used against an unarmed protest," the AFP news agency quotes her as saying.

"It is the government and the prime minister who are responsible for all that has happened."

Mrs Tugluk, who said the only solution was a political and democratic one, particularly lamented the fact that several children have been among the dead.

"Children who had no part in the incidents and who were watching the events from the balcony or the park were massacred," she said.

Tensions between the Ankara government and the PKK have risen since 2004, when the group called off a five-year ceasefire.

Kurd unrest escalates in Turkey
30 Mar 06 |  Europe
Timeline: Turkey
03 Jul 05 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Turkey
03 Jul 05 |  Country profiles

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