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Thursday, August 18, 2005 

Kurds 'terror group' riots in Ein Al-Arab

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in Syria - one of the few independent NGOs operating in Syria - says members of the Kurdish terror group the PKK have been involved in clashes with police in Ein Al-Arab.

The PKK was legal in Syria until 1998, until Turkey nearly went to war with Syria after accusing it of harbouring PKK members. the PKK has waged a geurilla war in Turkey for years, demanding a separate state for the Kurds. Estimates put the number of deaths at 30,000. Syria was free from PKK violence because it legitimised their activities. But since 1998 things have changed.

The US considers the PKK a terrorist group, and blames it for the recent bus bomb in Turkey which killed a group of tourists.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in Syria condemned the PKK's violence, and the police's reaction, and called for restraint on both sides. The AOHRS says the police did not use violence, but used tear gas and made some arrests.

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