Turkish Cypriot forces assault Cyprus peacekeepers: UN

Turkish Cypriot forces on Friday assaulted UN peacekeepers who attempted to block controversial road construction in the buffer zone dividing Cyprus, the UN mission on the island said, AFP reports.

The buffer zone is technically territory belonging to the Republic of Cyprus, which views Turkish military presence on the island since a war in 1974 as illegal occupation.

The United Nations mission had on Thursday warned the Turkish Cypriot authorities against “unauthorized construction activities inside the UN buffer zone”.

It said its peacekeepers were assaulted on Friday as they tried to block the construction of the road that encroaches on the buffer zone from the village of Pyla, known as Pile in Turkish.

“The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus condemns the assaults against UN peacekeepers and damage to UN vehicles by personnel from the Turkish Cypriot side this morning,” UNFICYP said in a statement.

It said the incident occurred inside the buffer zone near Pyla, the only village where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots live side by side.

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