After shooting that took place this afternoon in the Parisian neighborhood Rue d’Enghienthe kurdish community -especially popular in that area- took to the streets to demonstrate in repudiation for the fact.
What began as a concentration of people, hours after the shooting, where they could be heard slogans against the Turkish governmentquickly escalated and ended in burning garbage containers and a major operation by security forces to control the situation.
While the protesters chanted “Erdogan, terrorist” -in reference to the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan– Y “Turkish state, murderer” -because of the current military campaign that the country is carrying out against the Kurdish militias in Syria and Iraq-, the policemen were shooting tear gas to try to disperse the crowd, increasingly agitated.
In turn, tensions increased when the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmannapproached the journalists present there and mentioned that the attacker clearly had as target foreigners but that they did not have sufficient evidence to ensure that he intended to specifically harm Kurdish citizens.
The French government has avoided linking the attack on the Kurdish cultural center as an explicit display against the community. However, the organization of Kurdish Democratic Council -which brings together twenty-four associations of the Kurdish diaspora throughout France- lamented on his Twitter account the death of the “Kurdish militants”together with the Kurdish-Iraqi agency Rudawwhich mentioned that the deceased were “Kurdish cause activists”.
Following the incidents, police cordoned off the area in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, which comprises a busy street for shops and restaurants near the Gare de l’Est train station, amid a large increase in activity due to the Christmas weekend.
Also, the police warned citizens to stay away from the area.
The shooting took place this Friday in broad daylight and took place in a kurdish cultural centera restaurant and one Barber Shopsaid the mayor of the bustling 10th arrondissement, Alexandra Cordebard. The attack left three dead and three woundedof which one is in critical condition and the other two, hospitalized with less serious injuries, mentioned the Paris prosecutor, laure becuau.
The police arrested a 69 year old man who, according to reports, was also wounded in the face. Cordebard reiterated to reporters present at the scene that the “true motivation” for the shooting is still unclear.
The first investigations by the authorities revealed that the man already had criminal recordincluding an arrest for attacking migrants living in tents, for which police believe there was possibly a racist motive for the shooting.
On the other hand, prosecutor Beccuau requested the incorporation of anti-terrorist prosecutors into the case although, for the moment, they have not indicated the existence of any sign of a terrorist motive.
Paris braces for more demonstrations
The CDK convened a new mobilization for this one Saturday in the French capital as a sign of rejection of the attack.
The concentration will begin around noon in the Republic Square in Paris.
This event is added to this Friday in Marseillesalso in solidarity with the Kurdish people and in tribute to the victims, both of this episode and of previous attacks against this community.
In 2013 three Kurdish activists, including Sakine Cansiz -founder of Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)– were found shot to death in a Kurdish center in Paris. A Turkish citizen was accused of his murder, although suspicion also fell on the Turkish intelligence service.
France was targeted by Islamic extremists in 2015-2016 and remains on high alert for terrorism-related violence.
(With information from AP and Europa Press)
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