Anti-ISIS, pro-Kurd demonstrators rally across Europe

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Supporters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have protested in several European countries against Turkey’s lack of support for Kobane.

In Germany, street clashes between hundreds of Kurds and radical Muslims in the northern port city of Hamburg left 14 people wounded overnight, police said Wednesday.

About 400 Kurds had rallied Tuesday against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) whose fighters are besieging the Kurdish city of Kobane on the Syrian-Turkish border.

ISIS militants have taken control of much of the city on Turkey's border after launching an offensive in mid-September, capturing many villages and towns in the region from Kurdish fighters, who are grouped into "People's Protection Units", commonly know as YPG.

After the demonstrators gathered outside a Hamburg mosque, they were confronted by some 400 people described by police as mostly Salafist Muslims, and tensions escalated into violent clashes.

Police in riot gear used batons, pepper spray and water cannon to separate the groups of mostly young men who attacked each other using metal rods, sticks and machetes, as well as hurling rocks and bottles, local media reported.

Tensions between hundreds of Yazidi Kurds and mostly Chechen Muslim immigrants also escalated in the city of Celle in the northern state of Lower Saxony, local newspaper Cellesche Zeitung reported.

Riot police intervened against men armed with sticks, rocks and bottles, leaving several with slight injuries, the newspaper and public broadcaster NDR reported.

In Belgium, up to 100 protesters sat in front of the European Parliament in Belgium for several hours Tuesday to protest against the lack of action.

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, admitted representatives of the protesters to hear their demands and complaints.

He said in a written statement after talking with them, that he shared the same concerns over the civilians in Syria and Iraq.

Meanwhile, in Marseille, France, protesters threw four Molotov cocktails at the Turkish Consulate on Tuesday morning.

Later in the day, about 20 protesters tried to forcibly enter the consulate, but were prevented by security officials.

Other demonstrators holding PKK flags gathered in front of the United Nations headquarters in Geneva in Switzerland to protest against the clashes in Kobane.

About 10 protesters jumped over a security fence and tried to haul down a Turkish flag, but were prevented by UN security staff.

A group of protesters in Denmark sat in Copenhagen Airport and shouted slogans against ISIS.

There were also protests at Italy's Fiumicino Airport, where demonstrators held up PKK posters and shouted slogans including: "We will stop ISIS and the massacre in Kobani."

However, in Turkey clashes took a more violent turn.

Turkish police clashed with thousands of pro-Kurdish demonstrators across the country on Tuesday, as the protesters denounced Turkey's inaction in the fight against jihadists on the Syrian border, leaving at least 16 dead and 36 wounded.

(Anadolu, AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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