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Top Kurdish activist killed in Turkey gunfight

Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 01:43

Video captures the gunfight that leaves a prominent Kurdish lawyer and activist dead after making a statement to reporters at a peace rally in southeast Turkey. Diane Hodges reports.

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A Reuters camera catches the chaotic scene as a gunfight erupts at a small peace rally in Turkey. Plain-clothed officers exchange fire with unknown attackers in Diyarbakir, the largest city in Turkey's troubled, mainly Kurdish southeast. The rally was being led by prominent Kurdish lawyer and activist Tahir Elci (TAH-HEER EHL-CHEE ) Witnesses say he was shot in the head A policeman was also killed in the exchange of fire. Eleven other people were injured. Elci was facing trial for saying the banned Kurdistan Workers Party , or PKK, deemed a terror group by the west, was NOT a terrorist organization. His comments infuriated state prosecutors and the pro-Kurdish HDP party calls his death a "planned assassination" by an unidentified gunman. Hundreds of people have been killed since a ceasefire between the P-K-K and Turkish security forces collapsed in July. Speaking in the western province of Balikesir, Turkish President Tayypid Erdogan says the attack proves Turkey's stance on what he called terrorism is justified. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PRESIDENT, TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "I express my condolences to Mr. Elci and our policeman who has been martyred. This incident shows Turkey was right in its fight against terrorism. Our fight against terrorism will continue until the end." Police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse around 2,000 people marching in Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saturday after a prominent Kurdish lawyer was shot dead in southeast Turkey, a Reuters witness said.

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Top Kurdish activist killed in Turkey gunfight

Saturday, November 28, 2015 - 01:43