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Pro-Kurdish party office stormed, employee killed in Turkey

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By Reuters
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ANKARA – An assailant stormed a local office of Turkey’s Pro-Kurdish party and killed a woman who works for it in the western city of Izmir, the local governor’s office and the party said on Thursday.

A statement by the Izmir governor’s office said the assailant, a former health worker born in 1994, stormed the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) office and shot Deniz Poyraz.

The HDP – Turkey’s third largest party – had recently come under intensified political pressure, with the nationalist allies of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party (AKP) calling for it to be banned over alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group.

A top prosecutor has opened a case to shutter the party, while its former leader and several hundred other party members are behind bars.

In a statement on its website, the HDP blamed the government for the attack.

“The instigator and abettor of this brutal attack is the AKP-MHP government and the Interior Ministry, which constantly targets our party and our members,” it said.

The HDP, which has 55 seats in the 600-member parliament, denies any links to militants.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union. It has fought an insurgency against the state in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict.