The three Kurdish political activists found dead here Thursday were shot execution-style, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said, vowing that authorities will do everything possible to solve the crime.
The triple-murder is "totally unacceptable," he told reporters at the Kurdistan Information Center in Paris, where the bodies of the three women were discovered.
The hundreds of people who began gathering outside the center at dawn chanted "Revenge" and "We Are All PKK," referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party, with which the victims were associated.
Several in the crowd suggested Turkey was behind the killings, while the government in Ankara attributed the deaths to internecine conflict among the Kurds.
The victims were identified as: Didan Dogan, the representative of the Kurdistan National Congress in France; Sakine Cansiz, a charter member of the PKK; and Leyla Soylemez, described only as a young activist.
Cansiz and Soylemez were visiting France, people at the Kurdistan Information Center said.
Coming just as the Turkish government is engaged in exploratory talks with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, the assassinations constitute a "provocation," Leon Edart, president of the Paris-based Federation of Kurdish Associations, told BFM television. EFE