Three Kurdish protesters shot dead in clash with Israelis
Israel, Kenya close their embassies in Europe
February 17, 1999
BERLIN (CNN) -- Three Kurdish demonstrators died Wednesday when Israeli security forces opened fire on Kurdish protesters trying to gain access to the Israeli consulate in Berlin. At least 14 people were injured.
Police confirmed the shooting, but gave no further details.
Demonstrations began Tuesday across Europe following Monday night's arrest in Kenya of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. Ocalan was later delivered to Turkey for trial on capital charges of terrorism.
Ocalan heads the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has fought a 15-year war for autonomy from Turkey.
The Interior Ministry in Berlin increased security at likely targets of Kurd attacks after Kurdish demonstrators occupied consulates throughout Greece on Tuesday.
Following Wednesday's shootings, Israel announced that it was closing all of its diplomatic missions in Europe. Kenya also had ordered its embassies closed.
Israel's missions around the world had been placed on alert Wednesday for possible attacks, after a news report claimed that Israel's Mossad intelligence agency helped Turkey track Ocalan. Israel has vehemently denied involvement in Ocalan's capture.
The violent European protests had diminished somewhat Wednesday, but fresh demonstrations continued to break out sporadically.
In Geneva, Kurdish protesters who stormed the United Nations' refugee agency's world headquarters left the building after about three hours.
Up to 20 people forced their way into the building housing the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) -- a giant former palace in central Geneva -- while dozens more chanted pro-Ocalan slogans outside.
UNHCR spokesman Chris Janowski told CNN minor damage had been done by the protesters, and most of the 400-person staff had been evacuated as a precaution.
In an earlier Geneva protest, 30 to 40 people occupied the main U.N. building on Tuesday. And in Zurich and Bern on Tuesday, demonstrators forced their way into Greek diplomatic buildings. In Zurich, demonstrators took the building's owner hostage, as well as a policeman who tried to negotiate with them.
In London, 50 Kurds continued to occupy the Greek Embassy, where they were holding an embassy caretaker hostage. They showed little sign of ending their protest. Other protesters gathered outside the embassy, where thousands blocked traffic Tuesday. British riot police in padded uniforms cordoned off the area, but stayed clear of the relatively peaceful crowd.
Angry Kurdish protesters set fires and stormed embassies and consulates in more than 21 cities on Tuesday. Kurds took hostages at Greek missions in the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Italy, as well as at the Kenyan Embassy in Paris.
The demonstrators burst into the Greek and Kenyan embassies early Tuesday in Vienna and took five hostages at the Greek mission, including the ambassador.
But Austrian state television reported that the standoffs ended early Wednesday when the demonstrators left the buildings voluntarily after lengthy negotiations with authorities. Since no weapons were found at either location, the occupiers were not arrested but will face charges.
CNN Correspondents Peter Humi, Richard Blystone and Nic Robertson and Reuters contributed to this report.
Kurds seize embassies, wage violent protests across Europe
Kurdistan Workers Party Information
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.