Islamic association head shot dead in southeast Turkey: official

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 09, 2015 9:56 AM

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - An Islamic aid group leader was shot dead as he left his office in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Tuesday, an Islamist party official said, an attack likely to fuel tensions in the mainly Kurdish region two days after an election.

In the aftermath of the attack members of the Yeni Ihya Der aid group who gathered at the scene fired shots into the air and clashed with journalists who arrived at the scene, witnesses said, adding that three reporters were hurt in the clashes.

Security sources confirmed the killing of Aytac Baran from Yeni Ihya Der. That group is linked to the Islamist Huda Par political party, which drew support from sympathizers of the Hizbullah militant group active in the 1990s.

"He was martyred," a Huda Par official told Reuters, adding that he was shot dead in the Sehitlik district of the city as he left the association's offices.

The attack came two days after the leftist, pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) cleared the 10 percent threshold to enter parliament as a party for the first time.

Last Friday three people were killed in two blasts at a HDP rally in Diyarbakir. HDP leader Selahattin Demirtas said on Monday a string of bombings targeting the party during its campaign had been linked with Islamic State militants.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Daren Butler; editing by Ralph Boulton)