PKK members attempt to kill former senior leaders

PKK members attempt to kill former senior leaders

ARBIL – Anadolu Agency
PKK members attempt to kill former senior leaders

Osman Öcalan, the brother of the PKK’s imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan. DHA Photo

Members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq have attempted to assassinate former senior PKK leaders, including Osman Öcalan, the brother of the PKK’s imprisoned leader, Abdullah Öcalan.

One PKK militant was wounded and another captured by PWD members, in clashes near the houses of former senior PKK leaders Nizamettin Taş and Osman Öcalan, in Arbil.

Osman Öcalan had parted ways with the PKK along with Nizamettin Taş and formed the PWD in northern Iraq. Later on, the former parted from the PWD and settled in Arbil.

Three PKK militants reportedly installed cameras near the houses of Öcalan and Taş in the Köysancak district of Arbil, but PWD members noticed these cameras. When three alleged PKK members came to the area 24 hours later to collect the cameras, a gunfight occurred. One alleged PKK militant was injured and hospitalized while another was captured without injuries. The third reportedly escaped.
Köysancak police have started an investigation.

Taş confirmed the incident and said there could have been a massacre if the assailants had been able to achieve their goals. “They planned an attack like a mass massacre,” he said.

“Three people who came from the mountain installed a camera in front of our houses. We found the cameras by chance. They then returned in a car with an Arbil number plate around evening. When they attempted to pick up the camera, our men tried to capture them. A scuffle occurred. Unfortunately a clash between the PKK [militants] and former PKK members occurred,” said Taş.

“We know they are from the PKK. There is no doubt. This is not provocations from others … they were caught during surveillance before a house raid. The attempted [attack] was directly against us,” he added.

Osman Öcalan said internal executions within the PKK stopped in 2006, and claimed that this attack showed that some circles wanted to end this rule. “Abdullah Öcalan stopped the internal executions in 2006. But now some want to violate this ban. We fear for our lives too,” said Osman Öcalan.

Several senior PKK members including Nizamettin Taş, Osman Öcalan, Ebubekir Ataç, Hıdır Sarıkaya and Hıdır Yalçın parted ways with the PKK in 2004 and formed the PWD in Köysancak. They plan to attend the upcoming Kurdish National Conference, which is scheduled to take place in Arbil in September.