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Turkey: 9 detained in opposition leader’s assault at funeral

A man punches Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party, during the funeral of a soldier who was slain during clashes with Kurdish rebels at Iraq border, outside Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, April 21, 201. The politician was not hurt, party officials said. Protestors at a village outside of Ankara threw punches at Kemal Kilicdaroglu as security officials tried to escort him away from the crowd, television footage showed. (DHA via AP)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s interior minister says nine people have been detained in the assault of an opposition party leader, who was hit during a soldier’s funeral.

Several protesters threw punches at Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu at the funeral outside Ankara on Sunday. Kilicdaroglu was not injured.

Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Monday nine people were detained for questioning.

The soldier was killed Saturday in clashes with Kurdish rebels. Soylu appeared to justify Kilicdaroglu’s assault by referring to the support a pro-Kurdish gave the opposition during Turkey’s March 31 municipal elections.

Soylu said: “Everyone must take sides against the (rebels).”

The Republican People’s Party won the mayoral elections in Ankara and Istanbul, supplanting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party.

Erdogan led a divisive campaign, equating opposition parties with terrorists.

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