20 Wounded in Clashes between Kurds, Turkish Police
Stone-throwing Kurds who defied a protest ban to demand the release of jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan clashed Saturday with Turkish police, leaving at least 20 people wounded.
Several hundred protesters in multiple groups spread throughout the city of Diyarbakir in south-eastern Turkey threw stones and swung sticks at police, who scattered them with water cannon and teargas, an Agence France Presse correspondent said.
A lawmaker from the pro-Kurd Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and five police were among those injured in the clashes, which lasted several hours.
Protesters set fire to cars and looted shops in some areas.
The BDP had applied for permission to stage a demonstration in central Diyarbakir, a predominantly Kurdish city, but had its request denied by local authorities, who nevertheless called in security reinforcements in case the protest went ahead.
The party called the protest to demand the release of Ocalan, a founder of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who was jailed for life in 1999 and has been serving his sentence on Turkey's Imrali island, where he was long the only prisoner.
The PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.