According to a report that was published on Thursday in the German magazine Der Spiegel, German experts have confirmed the authenticity of photographs that show that PKK fighters in Turkey were killed by chemical weapons.

The photographs in question were given in March by activists to a German human rights delegation, comprised of experts, journalists and politicians from Turkey’s Left Party. The photos feature burned, maimed and scorched body parts, so much so that he victims are scarcely even recognizable as human beings. Hans Baumann, a German expert on photo forgeries has confirmed the authenticity of the photos, which according to Turkish-Kurdish human rights activists show eight members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) underground movement. They are believed to have been killed in September 2009.

A forensics report released by the Hamburg University Hospital has said that it is highly probable that the eight Kurds died "due to the use of chemical substances."

Turkey has long been suspected of using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels, and the evidence puts increasing pressure on the Turkish government to come up with answers. German politicians and human rights experts are now demanding an investigation into the incident.

Claudia Roth, co-chair of Germany's Green Party, told Der Spiegel: "The latest findings are so spectacular that the Turkish side urgently needs to explain things. It is impossible to understand why an autopsy of the PKK fighters was ordered but the results kept under seal."

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