France: Deadly shots in Paris: Kurds demand clarification

After the deadly attack on a Kurdish center in Paris, the Kurdish community is demanding clarification.

France: Deadly shots in Paris: Kurds demand clarification

After the deadly attack on a Kurdish center in Paris, the Kurdish community is demanding clarification. Kurds want to hold a demonstration in the French capital on Saturday afternoon. The Paris police prefect wants to meet representatives of the Kurdish community in the morning.

On Friday, an attacker killed three people and wounded three others in a Kurdish community center and shops in central Paris. The alleged perpetrator was arrested. The public prosecutor is investigating the 69-year-old Frenchman for intentional killing and serious violence.

"He obviously wanted to attack foreigners," said France's Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. However, it is unclear whether the attack was explicitly aimed at Kurds. The motive is unknown, the suspect was not registered as a right-wing extremist by the security authorities, but a right-wing background to the crime is being examined. French President Emmanuel Macron wrote on Twitter: "The Kurds in France were the target of a vile attack in the middle of Paris."

Clashes between demonstrators and police

The Democratic Kurdish Council in France (CDK-F), the umbrella organization of 24 Kurdish associations, classified the attack as a "terrorist attack" that came after numerous Turkish threats. The dead and injured are Kurdish activists. Turkey has long fought Kurdish independence aspirations promoted by the banned Kurdish Workers' Party PKK and other Kurdish organizations.

In the afternoon, numerous Kurds gathered near the site of the attack. Shortly after Interior Minister Darmanin's visit to the site, there were clashes with the security forces. Media reported that demonstrators had thrown at the police. They used tear gas. The broadcaster France Info wrote of an arrest and five injured police officers.

Even if it is not yet clear whether the attack was explicitly aimed at the Kurdish community, France now wants to protect Kurdish meeting places. Throughout the country, guards should be posted at all the places where the Kurdish community gathers. Darmanin also wanted to check whether there were other threats against Kurds in France. The interior minister also announced that he would also protect Turkish diplomatic missions in the country to prevent counterattacks.

According to the public prosecutor's office, the suspect had only recently been released from custody under judicial supervision. Last year he attacked a migrant camp and injured several people. According to media reports, he attacked with a saber. In 2016 he is said to have attacked a person with a knife.

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