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Kurdish rebels release eight Turkish troops

world Updated: Nov 04, 2007 14:32 IST
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The Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) early on Sunday released eight Turkish soldiers taken hostage during an ambush in south-east Turkey last month, the Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday.

According to the pro-PKK news agency Firat, the soldiers were handed over in northern Iraq to three Turkish parliamentarians from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Solution Party (DTP).

Firat said the eight were released as a "step in favour of a peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem and dialogue."

The eight soldiers are expected to be in Turkey later on Sunday.

The soldiers were taken hostage by PKK guerrillas who carried out an ambush on Oct 21, in which according to the Turkish military a group of around 150 PKK rebels crossed into Turkey from northern Iraq and launched an attack that killed 12 soldiers.

The PKK, which is on the terror list of the US and the European Union (EU), has been fighting Istanbul for an independent homeland they call Kurdistan in southern Turkey, comprising an area along the borders of Iran, Iraq and Syria.