Middle East News
Three Kurds killed in Syria shooting, human rights group says
Mar 21, 2008, 9:53 GMT
Damascus - Syrian security forces have shot dead three minority Kurds during cultural celebrations in north-east Syria, a human rights group said Friday.
A group of Kurdish youths who were lighting candles to mark the Kurdish new year of Nayroz on Thursday had an argument with policemen in Qameshli near the border with Turkey and Iraq, the Syrian Human Rights Monitor said in a statement.
Police then opened fire on the Kurds, leaving three dead and five wounded, some of them seriously.
The human rights groups called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to order an end to 'cold-blooded killing' of innocent people by security forces to avert a repeat of 'the massacre' of Qameshli.
In 2004, clashes in Qameshli and other towns between Kurds and Arabs backed by security forces left scores dead and injured. At least 300 Kurds were reportedly arrested.
Syria has about two million Kurds among its 17 million population, mainly living in the north-east of the country.
Syrian Kurds have become vociferous about their human rights since the 2003 Iraq war, which has resulted in their fellow Iraqi Kurds establishing an autonomous region in northern Iraq.