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Turkey rebel pullout sparks clashes

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 00:44

May 8 - Pro-Kurdish protesters hurl petrol bombs and firecrackers at police ahead of an agreed withdrawal by rebel fighters in the south-east. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Clashes erupt in the mainly-Kurdish south-east of Turkey as rebel fighters prepared to withdraw on Wednesday (May 8) in an agreed pullout. Pro-Kurdish protesters in Cizre province hurled petrol bombs and fire-crackers at police during Tuesday night, hours before the withdrawal was due to start. Top Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) commander Mural Karayilan last month ordered his fighters to start leaving bases in northern Iraq as part of a plan to end three decades of conflict with the Turkish state. The pullout, negotiated by PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan who is in jail on a prison island near Istanbul, offers the best chance yet of a settlement in the decades-old conflict which has killed more than 40, 000 people and damaged the Turkish economy. The rebel withdrawal will be monitored on the Turkish side by the MIT intelligence agency and across the border by the Kurdish regional government there. However, huge distrust remains. The PKK has not accepted a government demand that its fighters should lay down their weapons before withdrawing, fearing that they could come under attack, as they did in a previous pullback. The army has made clear that the suspicion is mutual

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Turkey rebel pullout sparks clashes

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - 00:44