Suspected Kurdish rebels kidnap workers in southeastern Turkey

By REUTERS
October 22, 2014 17:04
1 minute read.

 
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Suspected Kurdish militants kidnapped 10 power company workers in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday as tensions remain high in the region following unrest that killed at least 35 people.

In a separate incident, a politician from a Kurdish Islamist party was shot dead in the eastern city of Bingol.

Ethnic Kurds rioted in several southeastern cities this month over what they perceived as the government's refusal to help Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State militants for more than a month in the besieged town of Kobani.

The unrest threatens a shaky peace process in which the government is negotiating an end to a 30-year insurgency with the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who called a ceasefire last year.

Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Kobani are closely affiliated with the PKK.

The Turkish army was searching for workers from the Dicle Electric Co. who were investigating illegal transmission on their network near the town of Silvan when their vehicle was stopped by a group of masked men, a security source said.

The source said the assailants could be belong to the PKK, who have in the past kidnapped soldiers, engineers, journalists and others, sometimes with the aim of securing a prisoner exchange.

In Bingol, Fethi Yalcin, 35, was killed outside of his home by unidentified gunmen who shot him with a rifle from a car. He was a member of the Islamist Free Cause Party, or Huda Par, security officials said.

Though both mainly Kurdish, left-leaning PKK loyalists and Huda Par members have clashed in the past and again earlier this month.

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