Kurdish rebels extend cease-fire

AP , Monday 20 Jun 2011

Kurdish rebels say their imprisoned leader is extending a cease-fire by a few months

A statement emailed to The Associated Press on Monday says Abdullah Ocalan is also calling on Turkey's newly elected parliament to immediately start work on a new constitution that would address the demands of Turkey's Kurdish minority.

In messages delivered through his lawyers, Ocalan had previously threatened to end the cease-fire on 15 June, and warned of increased violence by his rebel group unless Turkey's government agreed to negotiate an end to the conflict.

The statement says Ocalan was calling on his rebels to avoid clashes and only defend themselves if attacked.

The rebels are fighting for autonomy in Turkey. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since 1984.

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