16 Killed in Pro-Kurdish Protests Across Turkey: Reports

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Pro-Kurdish demonstrations across Turkey have already resulted in 16 deaths, the local television station NTV reported Wednesday.

ANKARA, October 8 (RIA Novosti) - Pro-Kurdish demonstrations across Turkey have already resulted in 16 deaths, the local television station NTV reported Wednesday.

There have been eight deaths in Turkey's main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir following demonstrations in support of the Kurdish population of Kobani. According to the Anadolu agency, the rest were killed in protests in Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Mus - cities in the southeast of Turkey. A curfew was declared in the provinces of those cities.

The police have used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowds.

Several hundred protesters have taken to the streets in areas of Istanbul and the country's southeastern provinces to demonstrate their disapproval of Turkey's non-interference policy in respect of the developments in Kobani, a town on the border between Syria and Turkey, currently fighting against Islamic State (IS).

Islamic State militants have been besieging Kobani, also known as Ayn al-Arab, for the last three weeks, causing more than 160,000 people to flee their homes and head to neighboring Turkey and killing more than 170 Kurdish fighters and at least 20 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Islamic State is a Sunni jihadi group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq, seizing vast areas in both countries and announcing the establishment of an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.

Kurds are one of the ethnic groups in Iraq and Syria that have suffered greatly from IS violence.

In September US President Barack Obama announced his decision to form an international anti-IS coalition. Washington extended its airstrikes against the militants into Syria, while continuing airstrikes against the group's targets in Iraq. Obama said the United States would arm and equip Kurds, Iraqis and Syria's moderate opposition in an effort to eradicate the IS.

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