Paris- Friday’s deadly attack on Kurds in Paris has put to spotlight the long plight of the non-Arab ethnic group in the country. The shooting at a Kurdish cultural center in Paris left three people dead and wounded three others. This latest shootingleft many in the Kurdish community angry, sparking skirmishes between angry Kurds and the police.
Authorities have identified the suspect as a 69-year-old Paris man who was released earlier this month after serving a sentence for attacking migrants living in tents. The attack, which occurred at mid-day, is an assault that appeared to be specifically aimed at foreigners, authorities said. Skirmishes were ensured a few hours later in the neighborhood, with police firing teargas to disperse the increasingly agitated crowd.
The Kurds Remain Stateless
The Kurds inhabit mostly mountainous regions across Southeastern Turkey through Northern Syria and Iraq to Central Iran. They are often regarded as the world’s largest people who remain stateless. Most have been internally displaced in the Middle East due to decades of bitter conflicts. Others flee Western Europe to avoid persecution.
After the shooting of three Kurds on Friday in the 10th District of Paris, home to a large Kurdish population, the community is now living in fear. The latest attack comes barely ten years after the gunning down of three Kurdish women activists in the same area. In the skirmishes that ensued, the community’s anger was evident, with demonstrators chanting: “Our martyrs do not die” in Kurdish demanding ‘truth and justice.’
What French Leaders Said
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “The Kurds of France were the target of an odious attack in the heart of Paris. Thoughts of the victims, those who are fighting to survive, to their families and loved ones.”
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Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the suspect was clearly targeting foreigners and had acted alone, and had no affiliations to any extreme-right or other radical movements.
The shooting suspect had previous convictions for possessing illegal arms and armed violence. He had been handed preliminary charges of ‘premeditated, armed violence of a racist nature’ after attacking a migrant camp in Paris, the prosecutor said. In the attack on migrants, the suspect wielded a saber and wandered some people in a makeshift camp.
On Monday, the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the French ambassador to Ankara and “expressed our dissatisfaction with the black propaganda launched by PKK circles,” a Turkish diplomatic said.