Three Kurdish women have been shot in Paris, leaving activists to cry out that they were executed.
One of the victims is believed to have been the founder and vocal member of a militant separatist group opposing Turkey.
Turkey's peace talks with the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party, were going on in Paris when the murders were carried out. The killings took place on Thursday, January 10, CS Monitor reports.
One of the women was shot in the stomach, while the other two received fatal shots to the neck. Law enforcement officials described the gruesome crime scene as the set of an execution, with blood smeared on the door of the facility they were found in.
It was "without doubt an execution," French Interior Minister Manuel Valls states.
The incident is being investigated by the French anti-terrorism police division, as the victims are possibly members of the PKK. There is no confirmation of their participation in PKK meetings at this point. The PKK is registered as a terrorist organization by Turkey and the European Union.
It is believed that one of the victims, Sakine Cansiz, is one of the group’s founders. Her name has not been confirmed by The Paris prosecutors' office. The other two women were Leyla Soylemez and Fidan Dogan, both in their 20s.
A crowd gathered around the crime scene, as Kurd nationals protested, bringing Kurdish flags and speaking against the Turkish government.
"We want it to be known that that these assassinations — which were carried out in the busiest area of Paris — cannot be covered up," said Selahattin Demirtas, Kurdish political party leader in Turkey.
Deputy chairman of Turkey's ruling party, Huseyin Celik, described the attack as an inside job, pointing the finger to another member of the PKK.