Kurdish Protesters Attack Police in Turkey

(AP)–Kurdish protesters hurled firebombs at armored police vehicles in southeastern Turkey Tuesday after a funeral for some of the 14 Kurdish guerrillas killed by troops last week.

Police launched tear gas canisters at the crowd of hundreds in return–triggering street clashes which left at least five people injured and several businesses and vehicles damaged in Diyarbakir–the largest city in the Kurdish-dominated southeast–images broadcast by private NTV television showed.

The clashes erupted after protesters chanted pro-Kurdish slogans and attacked the police after the funeral of four of the dead guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)–which has been fighting for autonomy in southeastern Turkey since 1984.

NTV footage showed at least one armored police vehicle engulfed in flames after being hit by a firebomb in Diyarbakir. The operator of the vehicle immediately turned on the vehicle’s pressurized water canon in an attempt to extinguish the fire.

Further west in Adana–some 3,000 Kurdish protesters attending the funeral of another killed guerrilla clashed with police–prompting the police to detain dozens.

Turkish troops had killed 14 Kurdish guerrillas in the province of Mus in a two-day clash that ended on Saturday.

Tensions have been running high in the Kurdish-dominated southeast–where violence has escalated recently.

The fight for autonomy has claimed the lives of more than 37,000 people. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey–the United States and the European Union–reports the AP.

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