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One killed as army disperses protesters in Turkey's southeast

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

One person was killed on Friday in south-east Turkey as security forces fired shots to disperse hundreds of people protesting against the expansion of an army outpost, according to local officials.

Nine people were also wounded, two of them seriously, according to a statement from the governor's office in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.

The army opened fire after the crowd of around 300 torched construction tents and marched on the construction site, hurling stones and molotov cocktails at security forces, said Diyarbakir governor Cahit Kirac.

The incident shattered a lull in the volatile region, where the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has waged a bloody campaign for autonomy for nearly three decades, leaving 45,000 people dead.

The PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the West, reached a ceasefire agreement with Ankara in March. Its fighters are still withdrawing into northern Iraq in line with that deal.

"All those demonstrators were unarmed villagers," said Gulten Kisanak, a pro-Kurdish lawmaker, condemning the authorities' deadly intervention.

"It is a clear murder, a massacre attempt, a heinous provocation to open fire on villagers," she added.

The clash came as Ankara bids to contain unrelated anti-government protests that began on May 31 in Istanbul but quickly spread across the country after a heavy-handed police crackdown against the mostly peaceful demonstrators.

The series of demonstrations have so far left four people dead and nearly 8,000 injured, posing one of the biggest challenges to the decade-old government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Kisanak's Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has announced plans to stage its own demonstrations in southeastern cities, demanding more rights for the Kurdish minority.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130628/one-killed-army-disperses-protesters-turkeys-southeast-0