Kurds Battle Riot Police in Turkey

Shouting PKK slogans, Turkish Kurds clash with police
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 22, 2008 7:42 PM CDT
Turkish Kurds, some of them holding flags of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, chant slogans in Turkey on March 21, 2008.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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(Newser) – Thousands of Kurds battled police with rocks and fires in Turkish cities today, the BBC reports. Dozens were injured, including almost 40 demonstrators and 15 officers, as cops arrested more than 130 people. One policeman and three protesters are in intensive care. Sparked by Turkey's strikes on Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq last month, the clashes erupted during Kurdish spring festivals.

The biggest battle broke out in Van, where thousands threw rocks and started fires; police retaliated with tear gas, water cannons, and batons. In Diyarbakir, demonstrators shouted the name of a jailed rebel leader but were left untouched. More than 30,000 people have died since Kurdish rebels took up arms against Turkey in 1984.