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February 4, 2023

Three Kurdish women shot dead in Paris

Three Kurdish women were found dead with gunshots to the head in the early hours of Thursday, police in Paris said, in an unexplained act of violence that will likely shock the Kurdish community, CNN informs.French Interior Minister Manuel Valls told reporters in Paris the three women had been “without doubt executed” and described the killings as “totally unacceptable.”The bodies were found at about 2 a.m. local time in the Information Center for Kurdistan in Paris, in a central district of the capital, a police representative said.A criminal investigation is under way, according to police. They have not yet confirmed the names or ages of the three women, but a police spokesman told CNN the victims were in their 30s.Valls said one of the victims was the head of the Information Center for Kurdistan, Fidan Dogan. The minister said an anti-terror unit had been mobilized alongside the criminal police to investigate.It’s not yet clear what the motive for the killings might be.But Hugh Pope, senior Turkey analyst for the International Crisis Group, told CNN he saw the killings in the context of negotiations that have been under way between the Turkish government and a variety of Kurdish leaders, including the jailed head of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, since November.Many members of the city’s Kurdish community live near the center, located near the Gare du Nord in Paris’s 10th district.A number of protesters rallied outside the building Thursday morning, police said.A statement on the French website Jeunesse Kurde (Kurdish Youth) urges Kurds and friends of the Kurdish people to gather in Paris.Valls expressed his condolences to the relatives of the three women, adding that Dogan was known to many through her work in the information center.Leon Edart, of the Federation of Kurdish Associations in France, told CNN affiliate BFM-TV that the women had been alone in the information center on Wednesday afternoon. He said there were no cameras in the building.The ethnic Kurdish population extends across parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq.The Turkish government has recently embarked on a new, highly-publicized round of peace negotiations with Kurdish leaders including Ocalan.The PKK is a pan-Kurdish nationalist movement better known internationally for the guerilla war it has fought for nearly three decades against the government of Turkey. The violence, the country’s oldest and deadliest ethnic conflict, has claimed more than 30,000 lives.Pope, of the International Crisis Group, suggested the killings would “raise huge questions on the Kurdish side about what’s going on” in relation to the Turkish negotiations, but that no one should jump to conclusions. “No one should use this as an excuse to end these talks. Because this is a unique opportunity, it is a year without any political elections,” he said. “Whoever did it, it’s very important that the negotiators take steps to reassure each other.”

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