Relatives of Iraqi Kurdish leader abducted

March 7, 2012 at 8:14 AM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 7 (UPI) -- The separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party is holding five young relatives of Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, the family said.

The three women and two men were abducted by the terrorist group, commonly known as the PKK, last month in the Turkish town of Semdinli near the Iraqi border, Today's Zaman reported Wednesday.

Barzani aides have reportedly attempted to negotiate with the PKK for the return of the five but so far have failed to reach an agreement.

As a result of the kidnappings, the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq has imposed strong measures to curb the smuggling activity of the PKK.

The move has reportedly opened up a rift within the PKK as some members have started questioning the wisdom of holding five people at the expense of losing revenue from smuggling, Today's Zaman said.

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