Thousands attend Kurdish activists’ funeral

Updated 18 January 2013
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Thousands attend Kurdish activists’ funeral

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: Tens of thousands of people have gathered for the funeral of three Kurdish activists who were found shot dead in Paris while a Kurdish politician vowed to support peace efforts to end a decades-old conflict.
The three women activists, including a founding member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were slain last week at a time when Turkey is holding peace talks with the rebels’ jailed leader. Many believe the killings may be an effort to derail the talks.
Thousands of mourners assembled behind the coffins draped in the flags of the PKK at the victims funeral Thursday in the mainly Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.
Chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, Selahattin Demirtas, told the crowd that the killings would not deter Kurds from seeking peace.


Syrian rebels hand over arms, leave another town near Douma

Updated 8 min 46 sec ago
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Syrian rebels hand over arms, leave another town near Douma

BEIRUT: Syrian state media say hundreds of rebels fighters in a town northeast of Damascus have handed in their weapons and started to leave under an evacuation deal.
Under the agreement, the rebels are allowed to move with their families to opposition-held areas in the country’s north, effectively surrendering their turf to Syrian government forces.
The state SANA news agency says the Army of Islam fighters and their families are leaving the town of Dumayr on Thursday. The report says 1,500 rebels and 3,500 of their next of kin are to leave Dumayr for the town of Jarablus, near the Turkish border.
Dumayr is in the Qalamoun mountains, near the eastern Ghouta region which came under full government control last week after a weeks-long offensive and an alleged chemical weapons attack.