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ʿAmudah: Situation escalates following YPG attack on demonstration

KURDWATCH, July 3, 2013—On June 27, 2013, massive conflicts occurred in ʿAmudah between fighters for the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) and demonstrators demanding, among other things, the release of three kidnapped activists [further information on the case]. When YPG vehicles attempted to drive through the demonstration, they were pelted with stones and called Shabbihah (the regime’s militia). Shortly thereafter, YPG fighters shot into the crowd killing at least six people. Those in question are Nadir Mahmud Khalo (15 years old), Saʿid ʿAbdulbaqi Sayda (15 years), Barzan Qarnu (18 years), Shaykhmus Muhammad ʿAli (66 years), ʿAli Randa (33 years) and Shaykhah Alika. Shaykhah Alika was an eight-year old child who was run over by an YPG vehicle. YPG fighters erected checkpoints in the city, conducted raids, and several dozen people were kidnapped. KurdWatch was informed by several sources that the YPG additionally blocked off the city and prevented doctors from al‑Qamishli from treating the injured in ʿAmudah. In addition a curfew was imposed. Aras Ahmad Bango (36 years), an armed guard for the party office of the Kurdish Union Party in Syria (Yekîtî), was killed by a gunshot to the head on the roof of the office. YPG fighters stormed the party office and brought all those present under their control. At that time, between fifty and seventy people were in the office, primarily party members. Several members of the party leadership, for example Muhammad Khayr Bango (member of the politburo and uncle of the slain Aras Ahmad Bango) were also among the kidnapped. All of the office equipment was destroyed. In addition, the party office of Mustafa Jumʿah’s Kurdish Freedom Party in Syria (Azadî) and the tent of the hunger strikers in the center of ʿAmudah [further information] were burned down. In order to prevent funeral marches for those killed from becoming mass demonstrations against the PYD, the relatives of the dead were forced to bury them with only the immediate family present.

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