URGENT ¥¥¥ Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Ocalan calls for ceasefire

Jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan called Thursday for a ceasefire in the 29-year-conflict with Turkey and for rebel fighters to withdraw.

"We are at a stage where guns should be silenced," Ocalan said in a letter written from his prison cell and read out to a vast crowd in the southern city of Diyarbakir by a Kurdish lawmaker.

"We are at a stage where our armed elements should withdraw from Turkey."