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At least 31 killed, 360 injured in Turkey protests this week: minister

ANKARA: At least 31 people have been killed and 360 others injured in four days of violent protests in Turkey led by pro-Kurdish demonstrators against the government’s policy on Syria, the interior minister said Friday.

In addition to the toll of 31 people killed in protests, two policemen were shot dead in the southern city of Bingol late Thursday while inspecting the scene of a demonstration, Interior Minister Efkan Ala told reporters.

Five “terrorists” suspected of gunning them down were themselves killed by the security forces, he confirmed.

“This spiral of violence should immediately be stopped,” he said in a statement.

“Everyone should do their part to put an end to these incidents. We should all stand in solidarity with each other.”

Ala said that clashes broke out in 35 cities and 221 civilians and 139 security officials including police were wounded.

Over 1,000 people were detained and 58 people have formally been placed under arrest for their involvement in the protests which caused damage to 212 schools, he said.

The violence, which has been concentrated in south-eastern Turkey but also flared in Istanbul and Ankara, has been among the worst rioting seen in the country in years.

The official toll has already well exceeded the number of eight people confirmed to have been killed in the May-June 2103 nationwide protests against the ruling party. – AFP

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