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Farmer harassed by Turkish soldiers in buffer zone (updated)

File photo of a previous incident in Denia

Unficyp was investigating on Monday after armed Turkish soldiers were caught on video harassing a Greek Cypriot farmer in Denia village in the buffer zone.

Community leader Christakis Panayiotou told the media that the incident took place around 6.15pm on Monday, when a 30-year-old animal farmer was herding his sheep 500 metres inside the buffer zone.

Then, six soldiers from the north came down from their posts with their guns and approached the farmer, asking him to leave the area. One of them loaded his gun, Panayiotou said.

In the video, which was recorded by the farmer, a soldier is shown as taking a rock from the ground and throwing it towards the farmer.

“They shouted at him and threw stones at him and finally chased him away,” Panayiotou said, adding that at the time of the incident, there were no Unficyp peacekeepers in the area.

The community leader said he contacted the foreign ministry, the national guard and the United Nations over the issue.

Unficyp chief of communications and spokesman, Aleem Siddique said the peacekeeping force is investigating the incident.

“We need to complete the investigation before we can come to any conclusions,” he said.

He added that the safety of civilians inside the buffer zone remains the highest priority for the peacekeeping force.

However, according to the community leader, similar incidents are often taking place in the area.

In February, five Turkish soldiers threatened farmers working near Denia. One of the soldiers threatened to kill a farmer if he would not leave the area, the community leader had then told the Cyprus Mail.

 

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