Policeman dies a day after being shot during Navroz clashes

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey: A police officer died Wednesday after being shot in clashes as police tried to disperse Kurds staging unauthorized New Year’s celebrations, a security source said.

The officer was among 24 people who were injured on Tuesday in clashes that erupted across Kurdish-majority southeast when riot police fired water cannon and tear gas in an attempt to disperse the unauthorized demonstrations.

The officer, along with four other officers and a civilian, was wounded in the town of Cizre in Sirnak province on the border with Iraq, the source said.

Three other officers were also shot in Yuksekova town of Hakkari, another border province mostly populated by the ethnic minority.

Turkish authorities rejected a Kurdish demand to mark Navroz on Sunday, the day of rest in Turkey, designating Wednesday as the only day authorized for New Year celebrations.

On Sunday, thousands of Kurds clashed with police in Istanbul and the southern city of Diyarbakir, leaving nine people injured as security forces tried to stop festivities.

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