Three Kurdish women shot dead in Paris


Three Kurdish women have been shot dead overnight inside the Kurdish Information Centre in Paris, including a co-founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
Their bodies were found at around 2am on Thursday morning [0100GMT]. All three were shot in the head.
“The scene leads one to think of an execution, but the investigation will determine the exact circumstances,” a police source told the AFP news agency.
French interior minister Manuel Valls, who visited the centre, also described the killings as an execution. “This is a very grave matter and this explains my presence. This is unacceptable,” he told reporters at the scene.
Sources in Diyarbakir, in eastern Turkey, said that one of the women, Sakine Cansiz, was a co-founder of the PKK, the separatist group which has been fighting a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish government. Cansiz was one of the PKK’s European representatives.
Another was 32-year-old Fidan Dogan, who worked in the centre, according to its director, Leon Edart. The third was Leyla Soylemez, described by the group as a “young activist.”
The three were last seen on Wednesday at the centre, which was locked by late afternoon.
Hundreds of Kurds gathered outside the centre on Thursday to protest, with some chanting “we are all PKK!” and blaming Turkey for the killings.
French police in October detained a suspected European leader of the PKK and three other members of the group as part of a probe into terrorism financing and association with a terrorist group. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the Western world.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, has accused France of obstructing its fight against the PKK.
The Turkish government has recently resumed negotiations with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan about disarming his group in exchange for greater rights for the country’s Kurdish minority.
In Turkey, Huseyin Celik, the deputy chairman of the Turkey’s ruling party, said the attack appeared to be the result of “an internal feud” within the PKK, and suggested they were an attempt to derail talks with the group.
Zubeyir Aydar, a European representative for the PKK, blamed the attack on “dark forces” trying to interrupt the talks.