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Seven detained as Turkish forces raid Kurdish town

AFP , Sunday 19 Jan 2014
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Turkish security forces on Sunday raided a Kurdish town where the army launched a botched air strike in 2011 that killed dozens of people including children, local media reported.

Seven people were detained in the dawn raid on houses in Uludere near the Iraqi border in southeastern Turkey, Hurriyet newspaper reported on its website.

It said the action was believed to be related to a protest last week over the clearing of military officers accused of perpetrating the 2011 attack and against the building of a military road in the area.

One person was seriously injured during the protest, which saw villagers damage military vehicles and weapons, Hurriyet said.

In December 2011, Turkish fighter jets bombed Uludere, killing 34 people including 19 children in an attack Kurdish politicians described as a "massacre" of civilians.

Earlier this month Turkish military prosecutors cleared five army officers accused of perpetrating the strike, a ruling that triggered anger among Kurds.

The army said it had carried out the strike after spotting a group near an area known to be used by militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Turkey and its Western allies, has since 1984 waged an armed struggle seeking self-rule in the southeast that has claimed about 45,000 lives.

The Turkish state launched clandestine peace talks with the group in 2012 which led to the rebels declaring a ceasefire in March last year.

But the peace process has been stalled since September.

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