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Kurd woman leading Kobane battle against IS: activists
by Staff Writers
Beirut (AFP) Oct 12, 2014

Turkish president vows crackdown on pro-Kurd protests
Istanbul (AFP) Oct 12, 2014 - Turkey's government will seek new powers to crack down on violent demonstrations, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, after dozens died in a wave of Kurdish-led protests over Ankara's policies in Syria.

"The Republic of Turkey would not be a state if it were not able to control a few thugs," Erdogan said in a speech in the northeastern town of Bayburt. "They may burn, but they will pay the price. We will go further," he said.

Speaking Saturday night in the neighbouring town of Rize, the president called for a bill to be brought before parliament in the coming week aimed at "clearing these vandals from the streets".

Thousands of Kurds have taken to the streets in anger that Turkey has not intervened to defend the mainly Kurdish Syrian border town of Kobane from Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

Three police were injured in a new clashes overnight Saturday to Sunday in southeastern town of Silopi, the Dogan news agency reported, although elsewhere the protests had simmered down.

According to official figures released on Friday the four days of violence left 31 dead and 360 wounded. At least three more people have since died in hospital, according to media reports, taking the toll to 34.

Some of the deadly violence involved clashes between young supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Islamist and nationalist activists.

Cemil Bayik, one of the founders of the PKK which has waged a bloody 30-year insurgency for Kurdish self-rule in Turkey, has warned the two-year-old peace process with Ankara is in danger of collapse after the deadly unrest.

On Sunday Erdogan called on parents to "stop children from taking to the streets" in support of the "terrorist" PKK.

A Kurdish woman fighter is leading the battle against Islamic State jihadists in the Syrian battleground town of Kobane, a monitoring group and activists said Sunday.

"Mayssa Abdo, known by the nom-de-guerre of Narin Afrin, is commanding the YPG in Kobane along with Mahmud Barkhodan," Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The secular and left-leaning Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) group has been defending Kobane, on the border with Turkey, since Islamic State (IS) fighters launched an assault on September 16.

The group, the de facto army of the Kurdish regions of north and northeast Syria, is the armed wing of the powerful Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

As is the custom for Kurdish fighters, Mayssa, 40, uses a pseudonym, with hers coming from the Afrin region where she was born that is located like Kobane in Aleppo province.

"Those who know her say she is cultivated, intelligent and phlegmatic," said Mustefa Ebdi, a Kurdish activist from Kobane.

"She cares for the mental state of the fighters and takes interest in their problems," he said.

Women traditionally form a major part of Kurdish fighting forces, and they are well represented among Kurdish forces in neighbouring Turkey and Iraq.

On October 5, young Kurdish woman fighter Dilar Gencxemis, identified by the YPG by the nom-de-guerre of Arin Mirkan, blew herself up outside Kobane in an attack which reportedly killed dozens of IS militants.

She became the first Kurdish woman suicide bomber since the 2011 start of Syria's conflict.

Since the withdrawal of government forces from Kurdish areas of Syria in mid-2012, the PYD has set up local councils for Kurds to run their own affairs, with women filling 40 percent of seats.


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Pakistani air strikes kill 21 militants: officials
Peshawar, Pakistan (AFP) Oct 12, 2014
Pakistani air strikes killed at least 21 militants Sunday in attacks on their hideouts in a restive northwestern tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, officials said. The attacks were launched in the Kuki Khel area of the Khyber tribal district, where the Taliban and another banned Islamist group, Lashkar-e-Islam, have taken refuge. "In precision air strikes, at least 10 militants were kil ... read more

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