Dutch police raid PKK meeting, hold 55 for questioning

AMSTERDAM Mon Dec 3, 2012 7:51am EST

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch police raided a secret meeting of members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the Netherlands early on Monday morning, and have held 55 people for questioning, the public prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The PKK has been fighting for Kurdish self-rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984 and is designated as a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and the European Union. It has been banned in the Netherlands since 2007.

A group of PKK members were meeting in a public park in Ellemeet, a village in the southwest of the country, at six in the morning when about 150 police raided the area, acting on a tip-off from the intelligence service, the prosecutors office said in its statement.

The meetings had started on Friday and were expected to last a week, the prosecutor's office said, adding that the PKK recruits young Kurds in the Netherlands for its armed struggle against the Turkish army.

(Reporting by Sara Webb; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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