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Germany

Suspected Head of PKK in Germany Arrested

Germany has arrested a 47-year-old man who is suspected of having run the German branch of the rebel group Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), federal prosecutors said on Tuesday, July 22.

Kurdish demonstrators are silhouetted by a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) flag

The head of the Kurdistan Workers' Party in Germany is allegedly now in custody

Germany outlawed the group in 1993 and says it is an organized-crime gang. The PKK demands autonomy from Turkey for Kurdish areas. On Sunday, PKK guerrillas released three German mountaineers in eastern Turkey after holding them hostage for 12 days.

In the southern justice capital of Karlsruhe, prosecutors said a warrant was issued last Thursday. Huseyin A, a national of Turkey, was then detained on Monday in the western city of Detmold.

He was alleged to have led the PKK's underground German organization from June 2007 till June 2008. He faces a charge of leading a crime organization and of exercising duress through a death threat.

Prosecutors said he had obliged a 21-year-old woman to submit to an abortion in August 2007. She had been made pregnant by a PKK official.

The PKK renamed itself Kongra-Gel in 2003 but German prosecutors continue to define its leadership circle as a criminal gang.

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