Dutch police arrest 55 suspected PKK members in Zeeland

Police have arrested 55 suspected members of the Kurdish separatist movement PKK who were holding a secret meeting in Zeeland province, the public prosecution department said on Monday.


The meeting was taking place at a holiday house complex in the village of Ellemeet, the department said. In total, 150 regular and riot police officers were involved in the operation, as was a surveillance helicopter.
The PKK has been included on the European list of terrorist organisations since 2002 and has been banned in the Netherlands since 2007.
Raids
The police had been tipped off about the meeting by the AIVD security service. The meeting began on Friday and may have been scheduled to last a complete week, the public prosecutor said.
Some 40,000 people have died in the 25-year conflict between the Turkish state and the PKK militant group.
The PKK, or Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is waging a campaign in south-east Turkey for the establishment of a Kurdish state.
Dutch connection
According to media reports, it is not clear what the aim of the meeting was. In June a number of people with suspected PKK links were arrested on a campsite in Zevenaar.
In 2004, a camp on a farm in Noord-Brabant was broken up by police and around 30 suspected PKK members were arrested but the case against them eventually collapsed.

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