Kurdish protesters attack police officers in southeast Turkey

Türkiye Materials 4 May 2011 19:44 (UTC +04:00)

Kurdish demonstrators attacked a police car, stabbing one officer and stoning another, during protests in Diyarbakir in southeast Turkey on Wednesday, according to witnesses, dpa reported.

Violent clashes erupted as thousands attended the funerals of four guerrillas from the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting a three-decade-long insurgency in the southeast.

A local journalist who witnessed the attack told the German Press Agency dpa that two officers were hospitalized after a traffic police vehicle was attacked. Police later fired rounds in the air and used tear gas and water cannon.

Tensions within Turkey's restive Kurdish minority are running high ahead of general elections on June 12.

Last month Turkey's electoral boards banned seven independent Kurdish candidates from running, prompting violent demonstrations. Two days later it reversed its decision on six of the candidates.