September 25, 2006

Despite A Weekend of Violence...Rumors Of PKK Ceasefire

PKK and Turkish Military Clash in Diyarbekir

During a weekend that witnessed a spate of bombings across eastern Turkey, rumors have circulated regarding a pending cease-fire on the part of the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK) in Turkey.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who had been in New York to attend the 61st United Nations General Assembly meeting, stated that the PKK would announce a cease-fire in the next few days in a statement he made to Newsweek magazine.

"We have persuaded the PKK for a cease-fire and it will declare it officially in a few days", the Iraqi President and former leader of the Patriotic Union Of Kurdistan - Iraq, revealed, adding that it would help open a new page of Turkish-Iraqi relations.

This past weekend saw Kurdish rebels clash with Turkish security forces in Diyarbekir, a PKK bombing of a police guest house in Igdir (near the Armenian border), and the derailing of a Turkish freight train in the province of Elazig (Kharpert) by a PKK remote-controlled landmine. Seventeen people were injured in the Diyarbekir and Igdir bombings while the Tatvan - Elazig railway has been closed for repairs due to the landmine explosion.

Turkey has been pressuring the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq to rein in PKK forces who cross into northern Iraq from Turkey to escape Turkish military attacks against them.


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