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Kurdish rebels call off their five-year ceasefire with Turkey

Kurdish rebels in Turkey have called off their five-year ceasefire, accusing the authorities of failing to give Kurds greater rights. The PKK, which last year changed its name to Kadek (Congress for Freedom and Democracy in Kurdistan), said in a statement: “The unilateral ceasefire has come to an end as of 1 September and the ceasefire can only continue bilaterally.” Another statement said: “It will be up to the Turkish government to make the decision for peace or war.” On Monday, more than 15,000 Kurds marched in Diyarbakir, the biggest city in the south-east, to press for more rights and for a general amnesty for Kurdish prisoners. The main militant group, the PKK, launched its fight for an ethnic homeland in southeastern Turkey in 1984 and more than 30,000 people have died in the conflict. The violence largely subsided after the capture in 1999 of the rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. But there have been sporadic clashes between the Turkish military and Kurdish rebels. On Sunday, rebels attacked a police station in Diyarbakir province, killing one police officer. A rebel also died. Full Story

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