Kurdish rebels free Turkish lawmaker

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 14, 2012 12:33 PM
Kurdish rebels free Turkish lawmaker

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) - Kurdish militants on Tuesday freed Turkish opposition lawmaker Huseyin Aygun whose surprise abduction over the weekend in the southeast province of Tunceli caused outrage in the country and fears of an escalating campaign of kidnapping and violence.

Aygun's relatives said the politician, a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP), parliament's second-biggest, was now with military police after the rebels brought him through the mountains to within sight of a village, and left him to walk there himself.

Members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) seized Aygun on Sunday on a road in Tunceli.

The PKK, seen as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, took up arms in 1984 in a bid to carve out a homeland in the mainly Kurdish southeast. More than 40,000 people, mainly Kurds, have died in the ensuing violence.

(Reporting by Seyhmus Cakan; Writing by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)