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PKK gives hostages to delegation in Iraq

March 13, 2013 at 7:23 AM

BAGHDAD, March 13 (UPI) -- Eight Turkish officials kidnapped by the terrorist group Kurdistan Workers' Party were released to a Turkish delegation in Iraq Wednesday, officials said.

The public officials held in northern Iraq -- where the designated terror organization known by the initials PKK has bases -- will be accompanied back to Turkey by the delegation of political and humanitarian officials, Today's Zaman reported.

The Turkish government also has a delegation, including an Interior Ministry deputy undersecretary and security officials, to greet the freed hostages at the Habur border gate where they are expected to enter Turkey, officials said.

The officials the PKK released were kidnapped on a variety of dates in the eastern and southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Van, Mus, Bingol and Sirnak.

Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned PKK leader, signaled in February that as part of ongoing peace talks, the PKK may release the kidnapped public officials.

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