The top human rights official for the United Nations has demanded Turkey investigate an incident in which unarmed civilians were reportedly targeted and shot by security forces last month, BBC reported Monday. The event, which left at least 10 people wounded, occurred in the southeastern, predominantly Kurdish city of Cizre, which has seen some of the fiercest clashes between Kurdish militants and the Turkish military in recent months.
The shooting, which was caught on video, was “extremely shocking,” according to Zeid Raad Al Hussein, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights. The video is dated Jan. 20 and appears to show a group of Turkish Kurds coming under fire as they attempt to rescue people wounded earlier during clashes. People can be seen in the video being loaded into ambulances as screams and explosions are heard in the background.
The man who recorded the incident was reportedly arrested.
"Filming an atrocity is not a crime, but shooting unarmed civilians most certainly is," Hussein said in a statement Monday. "It is essential that there is a thorough, independent, impartial investigation into this and any other events that have led to the wounding or killing of civilians."
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— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) February 1, 2016
Turkey has experienced spiraling violence in recent months since a tenuous cease-fire broke last summer amid spillover from the war in Syria.
The PKK, a militant Kurdish group, has launched ambushes and attacks against Turkish security forces, relaunching a generationslong war for semi-autonomy from Turkey. Turkey has responded by placing several Kurdish towns and cities under curfew and has launched airstrikes against Turkish Kurdish militants, many of whom are based in Iraq.
More than 200 Turkish soldiers and policemen have been killed in violence since last year by the PKK — labeled a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Turkey — and nearly 200 civilians have been killed in areas under curfew since August. The latest violence has derailed negotiations between Turkey and militants and revived a push for self-rule in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast.