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PKK Frees Turkish Prisoners In Northern Iraq

Abdullah Ocalan in a 1999 photo

Abdullah Ocalan in a 1999 photo

Turkey's state-run Anatolia news agency says the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has released eight Turkish captives they had been holding for two years in northern Iraq.

The captives reportedly included six soldiers, a policeman, and a local official.

The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community.

The prisoner release came after a request by jailed Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.

Last month, he told lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish BDP party in the Turkish parliament that he hoped to see prisoners "reach their families."

The move is also part of a larger peace push by the Turkish government to end the 29-year old Kurdish insurgency led by the PKK.

The conflict has claimed some 30,000 lives since 1984.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP