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Turkey Officer Says He Created Local Hezbollah Group, Star Says

A retired Turkish army officer told an Istanbul court that he created the Turkish militant Islamic group Hezbollah as a supplementary force to fight and kill Kurdish separatists, Star newspaper reported.

Colonel Arif Dogan said he set up the group to fight against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a Marxist Kurdish group that has been fighting the military since 1984 to carve out an independent state in southeast Turkey, Star said. Dogan said the organization he formed was originally called Hizbulkontra and that Huseyin Velioglu, who died in a police shootout in Istanbul in 2000, was made its leader, Star said.