Turkish youths target Kurdish property in Berlin

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BERLIN, Oct 29 (Reuters) About 200 Turkish youths attacked Kurdish establishments in Berlin late today, injuring 18 police officers who tried to contain the group, German police said today.

The incident occurred after about 1,200 Turks assembled for a peaceful demonstration against the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), police said.

After the demonstration about 200 people crossed into the Kreuzberg district, where they attacked a Kurdish mosque and shattered the windows of a snack shop, police said.

Some 500 police officers sent to disperse the crowd were pelted with stones and bottles. Fifteen people were arrested.

The PKK has killed 40 people in Turkey within the past month and more than 30,000 since 1984 in its campaign for a Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey.

The Turkish government has massed 100,000 troops along the Iraqi border for a possible offensive against an estimated 3,000 PKK rebels in northern Iraq.

Both Turkey and the European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organisation.

According to the Berlin bureau of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, about 1,000 PKK supporters live in the German capital.

''We are seeing a heightened level of tension between Kurds and Turks due to the situation along the Iraqi border,'' said Nicola Rothermel, a spokeswoman for Berlin city council.

REUTERS GT BD2310

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