Senior PKK militant denies reports of his capture

The deputy to jailed PKK leader Adullah Ocalan made a rare appearance on television on Sunday to deny an Iranian report that its forces had arrested the second in command of the militant group.

Senior PKK militant denies reports of his capture

The deputy to jailed PKK leader Adullah Ocalan made a rare appearance on television on Sunday to deny an Iranian report that its forces had arrested the second in command of the militant group.

A senior Iranian member of parliament said on Sunday that Iranian forces had captured a high-level member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), without giving a name.

Murat Karayilan, the PKK's field commander, told a Kurdish TV channel from his hideout in the Kandil mountains between Turkey and Iraq that he was fine and free.

"These stories are just made-up games by Turkey and Iran to demoralise the organisation," Karayilan told Roj TV.

Earlier, Alaedin Boroujerdi, head of Iran's parliament's foreign affairs committee, told the semi-official Mehr news agency: "Our country's intelligence forces have carried out an important task and have arrested the second (highest) person in the PKK."

A Turkish Foreign Ministry official said Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had called his Iranian counterpart in Tehran to confirm the news and was told that the Iranian government was not aware of such an arrest.

A Turkish television channel reported on Saturday that Karayilan had been captured in Iran but later withdrew the story.

Iranian forces often clash with guerrillas said to be members of Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the PKK which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey and northwest Iran.

Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Ağustos 2011, 17:40
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