PKK Militants Kidnap 2 Turkish Soldiers in Eastern Turkey

PKK Militants Kidnap 2 Turkish Soldiers in Eastern Turkey
Sun Oct 4, 2015 09:50:45

Kurdish militants have reportedly kidnapped two Turkish troops in the east of the country amid persisting clashes between Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) elements and security forces there.

Turkish military authorities announced in a statement on Saturday that the suspected PKK militants abducted the soldiers late Friday after intercepting a passenger bus on a highway between the Tunceli and Erzincan provinces, AFP reported citing the official website of the army's high command.

The statement did not elaborate about the fate of the kidnapped troops, only noting that an operation was in the offing to locate the soldiers, who were off-duty when seized.

Turkey's Hurriyet daily reported on its website that the abducted conscripts were taken to the nearby mountains in the Pulumur region.

According to the report, over 150 Turkish military and police officers have been killed since July in armed attacks blamed on the PKK, blacklisted as a terrorist group by Turkey and numerous other countries.

Ankara, meanwhile, has claimed the killing of over 1,000 Kurdish militants in reprisal attacks, although independent media have treated the official figure with skepticism.

The development came amid a relentless military campaign by Turkish forces against PKK positions in the nation’s southeastern region as well as in neighboring Iraq.

The PKK has waged a hard-hitting response, killing dozens of Turkish security forces in near daily bombing or gunfire attacks.

The surge of violence between the Turkish army and the militants in recent months shattered a two-year ceasefire between the two sides, which had raised optimism for an end to the PKK's 30-year revolt against Ankara that has left over 40,000 people dead; Press TV reported.

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