Two Turkish soldiers kidnapped in southeast Kurdish region
Agence France Presse reported Sunday that two Turkish soldiers were kidnapped by an armed Kurdish group in the southeast region of the country.
The abduction allegedly happened during the night Saturday shortly after the outlawed Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) released a statement "warning of possible return to violence [in Turkey]."
The country's state news agency reported that the soldiers were seized by the unidentified assailants who stopped their bus near the town of Lice where a miltary outpost is supposed to be constructed--a move that the PKK strongly opposes.
According to Firat News Agency, which is a "PKK mouthpiece," the group will not release the two soldiers until Ankara cancels its plans to halt the construction of the post.
Kurds have been protesting near the post construction site over the past five days, and the demonstrations reportedly turned violent on Saturday after Turkish soldiers opened fire on the demonstrators' tents. No one was reportedly killed or injured.
The PKK has often carried out similar abductions in the past and Ankara announced that an operation is now under way to find the two missing soldiers.
The PKK announced a landmark truce with Ankara last March, but the peace process was undermined in September 2013 with Kurds accusing the government "of failing to deliver on promised reforms."