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Asia-Pacific

Kurdish link to Australian terror raids

media An Australian police car Angelo T via Wikimedia Commons

Australian authorities have raided properties in three states in connection with the financing of extremist groups, with Kurds claiming they are being targeted. The Australian Federal Police (AFP) conducted stings in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, including the community clubhouse of the Kurdish Association of Victoria.

"[The raids were] part of a joint counter-terrorism investigation into allegations of financing of a terrorist organisation," the AFP said in a statement.

"The community can be assured that this investigation is not related to any terrorist related threat or incident."

The AFP refused to comment further because it was an "ongoing operational matter".

No arrests were made.

Kurdish community spokesman Twana Nwri said similar raids had been carried out around the world targeting the militant Kurdish separatist group PKK, following pressure from the Turkish government.

The PKK is a banned terrorist organisation in Australia.

"The Turkish government has lobbied European governments to ban Kurdish groups and they have lobbied the Australian government to put Kurds on the terrorist list," Nwri told the AAP news agency.

Listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, the PKK took up arms for self-rule in a conflict that has claimed around 45,000 lives.

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