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Kurdish Militia Accused of Killing Syrian Protesters

Syria map, Turkey, Iraq
Kurdish activists in Syria are accusing a Kurdish militia of gunning down three protesters as tensions rise in towns along the Turkish border.

An activist with the Kurdish Unity Party told the VOA Kurdish service the deaths took place during a protest late Thursday in the town of Amuda, when members of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) opened fire to prevent demonstrators from taking to the streets.

Video posted online by the activists claims to show PYD militia members on white trucks firing at the crowd. Activists say the protest was sparked by the detention of three people who had been protesting against the PYD's rule.

The PYD defended its actions. Salih Nasir Hajmansur with the PYD's executive committee member told VOA's Kurdish service a PYD patrol vehicle was attacked by some gunmen, resulting in the death of one fighter and four others were wounded.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party has controlled large areas of northeastern Syria since government troops withdrew last year. The PYD is also affiliated with the Turkey-based Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.

Some Kurdish activists accuse the PYD of collaborating with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Many of the activists have supported the uprising against the Syrian regime.