Turkey imposes curfew in 3 cities after at least 14 are killed in Kurdish anti-govt protests

Kurdish protesters set fire to a barricade set up to block the street as they clash with riot police in Diyarbakir on Oct 7, 2014. In a measure unprecedented in the last years, the Turkish army has deployed in the streets of the cities of Diyarb
Kurdish protesters set fire to a barricade set up to block the street as they clash with riot police in Diyarbakir on Oct 7, 2014. In a measure unprecedented in the last years, the Turkish army has deployed in the streets of the cities of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van to impose a curfew, as at least 14 people were killed in violent protests by pro-Kurdish demonstrators in south-east Turkey angry at the government's lack of action against jihadists in Syria, officials said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ISTANBUL (AFP) - In a measure unprecedented in the last years, the Turkish army has deployed in the streets of the cities of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Van to impose a curfew, as at least 14 people were killed in violent protests by pro-Kurdish demonstrators in south-east Turkey angry at the government's lack of action against jihadists in Syria, officials said on Wednesday.

Schools were closed in Diyarbakir and fights were cancelled, reports said. The protests had first broken out on Monday night but Tuesday's clashes were more severe. The clashes with police caused extensive damage in the city with shop fronts burned-out and buses set on fire.

Eight of the deaths came in Turkey's main Kurdish city of Diyarbakir where the most intense rioting took place overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, a local security official told AFP. The other deaths were reported in violent protests in Mardin, Siirt, Batman and Mus, all cities in the southeast of Turkey.

Police also used tear gas and water cannon to disperse angry pro-Kurdish protests in Istanbul and Ankara.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has so far not intervened militarily against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants fighting for the majority-Kurdish border town of Kobane, to the fury of Turkey's Kurds.