France arrests three suspected Kurd rebels

5th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Police in France arrested three suspected local leaders of the outlawed PKK Kurdish separatist movement, the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Among five people arrested near Paris on Saturday, "there are three major leaders of the PKK in France" who had been tracked for months by anti-terrorism investigators, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told AFP.

The arrests and a related raid on a Kurdish cultural centre sparked angry protests which led to clashes with police in the southern suburbs of Paris on Saturday.

The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been waging a deadly fight for self-rule in southeastern Turkey since 1984. It is classed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community.

Brandet said the members of the France-based branch who were arrested on Saturday were held on suspicion of extorting money to fund terrorist activity.

© 2011 AFP

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