PARIS– Three people were killed and three others injured in a shootout at a Kurdish cultural center in a busy Parisian neighborhood on Friday, authorities said. A 69-year-old suspect was injured and arrested.
The Paris prosecutor launched investigations into murder and attempted murder. Paris prosecutors said the suspect had a criminal record, including an arrest for assaulting migrants living in tents, and investigators are considering a possible racial motive for the shooting.
According to the mayor of the 10th arrondissement, Alexandra Cordebard, the shooting happened at noon at a Kurdish cultural center and a restaurant and hairdresser’s nearby. Speaking to reporters at the scene, she said the “true motivation for the shooting remains unclear.
As she spoke, a crowd nearby chanted “Erdogan, Terrorist” – in reference to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoan – and “Turkish State, Assassin”.
Police cordoned off the area in the French capital’s 10th arrondissement on a busy street lined with shops and restaurants near the Gare de l’Est train station. Filming took place at a time when Paris is buzzing with activity ahead of the Christmas weekend. Paris police warned people to stay away from the area.
Paris prosecutor Laure Beccuau said three people hit in the shooting died, one is in critical condition and two others were hospitalized with less serious injuries. The attacker was also injured in the face, she said.
She said counterterrorism prosecutors were in contact with investigators but had given no indication of a terrorist motive.
In 2013, three Kurdish activists, including Sakine Cansiz – a founder of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK – were found shot dead in a Kurdish center in Paris. A Turkish national has been charged with her killing, although suspicions also fell on Turkish intelligence.
The Turkish army is fighting militant Kurds affiliated with the banned PKK in both south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq. The Turkish military has also recently launched a series of air and artillery strikes against Syrian Kurdish militant targets in northern Syria. The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey, Europe and the United States and has led an armed insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
France was hit by a series of deadly attacks by Islamist extremists in 2015-2016 and remains on alert for terrorist violence.
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https://6abc.com/paris-shooting-kurdish-cultural-center-arrest/12606007/ 3 killed, 3 others wounded in shooting targeting Kurdish cultural center in Paris; suspect arrested