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Iranian Kurds protest outside Turkish embassy in Tehran

TEHRAN, Feb 19 (AFP) - Chanting "Death to Turkey, America and Israel," some 1,000 Iranian Kurds staged a rally outside the Turkish embassy and a UN office here Friday to protest the capture of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

"Free Ocalan" and "Ocalan, Ocalan, we support you" the demonstrators shouted in Kurdish outside the embassy in central Tehran before moving on to the office of the UN representative.

They threatened Turkey and Israel with reprisals for the capture of Ocalan and demanded the immediate relase of the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), who was seized by Turkish commandos in Kenya on Monday and flown to Turkey.

Israel has rejected allegations by the PKK that it had anything to do with the capture of the Kurdish rebel leader.

In a statement read out at the UN office, the demonstrators denounced an "imperialist and Zionist plot" which they said led to Ocalan's capture and called for Turkey to be "put on trial before an international court."

Many of the protestors wore traditional Kurdish garb and carried pictures of Ocalan during the demonstration, which passed off peacefully.

Turkish sources here said meanwhile that angry Kurds had attacked 12 Turkish trucks at Bazargan on the Turkish-Iranian border to protest Ocalan's arrest.

The sources also said that some 600 to 700 Kurds staged a protest on Friday near the Turkish consulate in the northwestern Iranian city of Orumiyeh. They were not allowed to approach the building, they said.

Iranian state radio said Wednesday that the Turkish government should now "make some concessions" to settle the Kurdish issue, warning that if it did not, "Europe could intervene."

Turkey has accused Iran in the past of closing its eyes to the use of its territory by Turkish Kurd rebels to infiltrate into Turkey, charges Iran denies.


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