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Kurdish authorities urged to act after Turkish intelligence accused of political assassination of PKK member

AUTHORITIES in Iraqi Kurdistan were urged today to take firm action over the political assassination of a leading Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) member last Friday.

Turkish intelligence services are believed to be behind the killing of Yasin Bulut, who was gunned down outside his home in Slemani, the region’s second-largest city.

The 65-year-old, who was a leading member of a martyrs’ committee dealing with the families of PKK fighters killed in action, was shot in the back as he made his way to hospital for treatment.

Security forces linked to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) apprehended two suspects soon after the attack, although no details have been made public.

The assassination is seen as a warning to the Kurdish resistance group that it is not safe, even in a region that has been traditionally relatively friendly to the PKK.

Democratic Green Party co-chairman Lukman Ahmi said today that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) must take firm action against Ankara and bring the killers to account.

“The perpetrators must be sought and held accountable, and what they have done and who supports them must be made public,” he said.

The assassination took place amid a power struggle within the PUK and its ruling family, pitting KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani against his cousin Lahur, who is seen as more sympathetic to the PKK.

But officials from the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK), an umbrella organisation that includes the PKK, insist that Mr Bulut’s assassination was part of the “genocidal policy of the Turkish state.”

It has called for a clear line to be taken, warning that Turkish intelligence services are well organised in the region and capable of carrying out similar attacks in the future.

The KNK holds Britain, the United States and the European Union jointly responsible for the killing and the ongoing “Kurdish genocide,” accusing them of using Turkey to pursue their own interests in the Middle East.

Ankara’s forces have continued a five-month bombing and invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan, including alleged use of chemical weapons and air attacks on refugee camps and a hospital.

The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which dominates the KRG, is accused of colluding with Turkey and has used its peshmerga forces to attack PKK guerillas.

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