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32 Kurdish rebel supporters arrested

Jan. 13, 2012 at 1:37 PM

ANKARA, Turkey, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Turkish police Friday arrested 32 people suspected of supporting a Kurdish rebel group that is fighting for autonomy in Turkey's southeast.

The nationwide crackdown is part of an investigation into alleged ties between Kurdish activists and separatist militants, Voice of America reported.

The operation targeted the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, with raids on the homes and offices of party members Friday.

Included in the raids was the Ankara office of Kurdish lawmaker Leyla Zana. Zana was convicted in 1994 of having ties to the militant Kurdish group Kurdistan Workers' Party and spent 10 years in prison, Voice of America reported.

Since 1984, the PKK, considered a terrorist group, has waged a campaign for autonomy in southeastern Turkey. The fighting has resulted in the deaths of more than 40,000 people.

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