One resident killed, bodyguard injured in Turkish election rally

15:06, June 01, 2011      

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Medical staffs send an injured person to an ambulance during the unrest in the town of Hopa, Turkey, May 31, 2011. A man died of a heart attack and a security officer was seriously injured in street unrest as Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan prepared to address an election rally in the north of the country on Tuesday, media reports said. (Xinhua/Anadolu)

One Turkish resident was killed and one bodyguard of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was injured during a police crackdown on the protest in the Black sea city of Hopa on Tuesday.

According to local Dogan news agency, Erdogan's election rally in Hopa was marred by protests.

The protests in Hopa started before Erdogan's arrival in the coastal town. A group of demonstrators hung a huge banner reading "Erdogan, get out of Hopa" on a building overseeing the square where the prime minister would hold his rally.

Retired worker Metin Lokumcu died in the hospital due to a heart attack, reportedly after collapsing during a police crackdown in the city.

Lokumcu's friends said he was kicked by a police officer while already on the ground due to the tear gas used by the police.

The report said that the bodyguard fell from the top of the prime minister's bus and was transferred to a hospital in nearby Trabzon for treatment.

However, the Anatolia news agency said that the police officer fell after being hit by a rock thrown at the bus in Hopa.

Sedat Varan, the owner of the local newspaper 08 Haber Gazetesi, said that the number of protesters was 100 at most but the tension was still high in Hopa.

"The relatives of Lokumcu and some protesters gathered in front of the Hopa State Hospital, demanding to take the body," he said.

The officials denied the request as the body was sent to be autopsied and the gendarmerie took over control from the police in the district, he added.

Source: Xinhua

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