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Eight Turkish Soldiers Freed In N. Iraq, Returned


Eight Turkish Soldiers Freed in Northern Iraq, Returned to Turkey

Eight Turkish soldiers captured by Kurdish rebels two weeks ago have been released in northern Iraq and flown back to Turkey.

Rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party handed over the Turkish soldiers Sunday to Iraqi Kurdish authorities who helped to secure their release. A Turkish military plane then flew the troops back to the town of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey.

PKK rebels seized the eight soldiers in Turkish territory near the Iraqi border on October 21st. The rebels also killed 12 Turkish troops in the attack.

Iraqi Kurdish officials say the freed soldiers were well-treated and are in good health. Turkish media say U.S. officials also played a role in their release.

Turkey's government has been pressing Iraqi authorities to crack down on the PKK. Ankara says the rebels use bases in northern Iraq to mount attacks in southeastern Turkey.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly threatened to launch an invasion of northern Iraq to attack PKK bases, unless Iraqi and U.S. forces act against the rebels.

ENDS

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