Kurdish rebel to call ceasefire in Turkey's best peace hope

March 21, 2013 01:40


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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Jailed Kurdish militant leader Abdullah Ocalan is set to call on his fighters to halt hostilities with Turkey on Thursday in a peace process which marks the best hope yet of ending a conflict that has killed 40,000 and handicapped the country for decades.

In the mainly Kurdish southeastern city of Diyarbakir, hundreds of thousands will gather at Newroz celebrations marking the Kurdish new year to hear what Ocalan has said will be a "historic call".

His announcement will follow months of talks with Turkish intelligence officers and Kurdish politicians on the island prison in the Marmara Sea where he has been held since his capture by Turkish special forces in Kenya in 1999.

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