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Man killed in Istanbul rally by police gun

Militants of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) run towards riot police during a demonstration after the funeral of a protester killed in a recent protest, on May 23, 2014, in the Okmeydani district of Istanbul. AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

ISTANBUL: A young man who was shot dead during last week's police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul was killed by a bullet fired from a policeman's gun, local media said Thursday.

Ugur Kurt, 30, died of gunshot wounds to the head after being caught in the crossfire during clashes between police and protesters in Istanbul's restive Okmeydani district.

A criminal investigation revealed that the gun that killed Kurt belonged to one of the police officers who fired live ammunition into the air as well as tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters who hurled back stones and Molotov cocktails during last week's unrest.

The prosecutor's office in Istanbul asked for permission from the city's governor to investigate the police officer suspected of firing the gun, Dogan news agency said. The policeman's identity has not been revealed.

Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc earlier said that Kurt may have been hit by a stray bullet fired by a police officer.

Kurt's death, which provoked fresh street battles in the country's largest city, came as tensions mount ahead of the first anniversary of anti-government protests that killed eight people, including a policeman.

A second man died after being hit by a hand grenade thrown during the unrest in Okmeydani, a Kurdish and Alevi stronghold in Istanbul.

Neither man was taking part in the demonstrations.

 

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