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Syrian Kurds In Talks With Arab Tribes


7 June 2005 -- Kurdish leaders in Syria said on 6 June that the situation remained tense in northeastern Syria after reported sectarian clashes over the weekend.

Kurdish Progressive Democrat Party leader Aziz Daud said a security force action on 5 June in the city of Qamishli to disperse Kurdish demonstrators had "turned into Arab-Kurdish clashes." The demonstrators were angry at the abduction and murder of a leading Kurdish cleric.

Yakiti party leader Hassan Saleh said several demonstrators were wounded and dozens arrested in the clashes.

No official government comment has yet been made on the situation in Qamishli.

The latest violence followed the kidnapping and murder of popular local cleric Muhammad Maashuq Khaznawi.

The Syrian authorities said two people had already been detained in what it promised would be a full investigation.

Syria's 1.5 million Kurds make up about nine percent of the population and are mainly concentrated in the north.

(AFP/dpa/AP)
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