Kurdish rebels release 3 journalists in southeast Turkey

AP News
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Posted: Feb 21, 2016 7:08 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Kurdish rebels on Sunday released three journalists from Turkey's state-run agency, days after they were kidnapped while reporting in a town in southeast Turkey.

Anadolu Agency's correspondent Rauf Maltas, photographer Onur Coban and cameraman Kenan Yesilyurt were captured Friday by members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, in the town of Nusaybin, bordering Syria, where Turkey's security forces are battling Kurdish militants, the agency said Sunday. Soon after the report, the three were released and handed over to a legislator from Turkey's pro-Kurdish party and other party officials.

The rebels kidnapped the three claiming they had not sought the PKK's permission to film in the area, the agency said. The journalists' camera and other equipment were not returned.

The journalists were taken to a police station where they were giving testimonies to authorities.

The PKK has been battling Turkey's military for autonomy for Kurds in Turkey's southeast since 1984 in a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people. Violence flared anew this summer, shattering a two-and-a-half-year peace process. Hundreds of militants and some 270 security force members have died in the renewed fighting since July.

The PKK is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its allies.