Middle East

Saleh Muslim: Syrian Kurdish leader arrested in Prague

Saleh Muslim on BBC's HardTalk show on 2 July 2014
Image caption Mr Muslim is a former co-chair of the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD)

A prominent Syrian-Kurdish leader has been arrested in the Czech capital Prague on a warrant issued by Turkey.

Saleh Muslim, a former co-chair of the main Syrian-Kurdish movement, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), was arrested early on Sunday.

The Turkish justice ministry said it has begun efforts to have Mr Muslim extradited.

Turkey views him as a terrorist and had offered $1 million (£715,000) for his arrest.

He has been indicted over a February 2016 bombing in Ankara that targeted a convoy of busses at the military headquarters during the evening rush hour, killing 37 people.

"Upon finding the person in question was in the Czech Republic... it was demanded that he be captured and arrested to be extradited," the ministry said in a statement.

The Turkish government regards the PYD as an offshoot of the armed PKK group. It sees the PYD and its associated militia, the YPG, as terrorists.

Turkey is currently carrying out a major military campaign against Syrian Kurdish fighters in the Afrin region of northern Syria.

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