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Pro-Kurdish party warns of ISIS sabotage in Turkey

Co-leader Selahattin Demirtaş says ISIS cells are ‘waiting orders to stage incidents in hundreds of places in Turkey’

Published: Updated:

The co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) expressed alarm over forces linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), whom he described as waiting for an order to stage attacks across Turkey, Hurriyet Daily News reported on Friday.

“I fear that forces linked to ISIL and forces supporting ISIL at the local level, which are in the form of cell formations, are waiting for the order to stage incidents in hundreds of places in Turkey,” said Selahattin Demirtaş, using a different acronym for ISIS.

He also alleged that an ISIS member who staged last week’s deadly bombing in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır received support from the state and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) administration, the local BGN News reported.

“We want the people within the state and the government who are associated with the attacks to be found,” he said.

His remarks were made on Friday in Diyarbakir while he was attending a commemoration ceremony for the three people who died in the twin blasts at his party’s election rally in the city last week.

He also spoke about the violence that took place between different Kurdish factions days after a parliamentary election which saw the ruling AK Party lose its majority.

He warned that Turkey’s Hizbullah group, a Kurdish Sunni Islamist militant organization, was armed in Diyarbakır. Turkey’s Hizbullah is against the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish government.

“Many Hizbullah militants and members are armed in Diyarbakır right now. They have arms in their homes. It has also been determined who will shoot who if an attack on them happens,” he said.

He added: “When the association chair was shot, it was determined who would shoot who and at which minute. The Hizbullah militants immediately slayed four of our friends.”

On June 9, three people were killed after Aytaç Baran, head of the Islamic aid group Yeni İhya-Der, was shot dead, igniting violent clashes two days after the HDP’s historic election success that saw AKP lose its majority.