Ankara: Thirty-one people have been killed and 351 others wounded in violent protests in Turkey against the Islamic State Sunni radical group, Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said Friday.
Thousands of Kurdish people have flocked into streets since Monday for demonstrations against the advance of IS militants into the Kurdish-populated town of Kobane in northern Syria, Xinhua reported.
Citizens in 35 provinces were affected by the protests and 1,024 protesters were detained, the minister told reporters, adding that the deaths occurred in clashes between rival groups.
Ala said that two policemen were killed late Thursday after unidentified assailants opened fire on officers conducting an investigation at the workplaces in the eastern province of Bingol that was destroyed in recent protests.
He called on people to abstain from street protests, saying that the “spiral of violence” should end.
The clashes were mainly fuelled by supporters of the outlawed Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and Hezbollah, a radical Islamist group in Turkey whose members are mostly Kurdish.
Kobane, also known as Ayn al-Arab, has been subject to ferocious attacks by the Sunni militants over the past three weeks.
The IS has succeeded in capturing hundreds of Kurdish villages around Kobane, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.
The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) called for protests against the attack on Kobane and the Turkish government’s “reluctance on the issue”.