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Kurdish rebels have freed eight Turkish soldiers seized during an ambush
Kurdish rebels have freed eight Turkish soldiers seized during an ambush near the Iraqi border two weeks ago, CNN-Turk TV channel said on Sunday.

The release came a day after the Iraqi government vowed to hunt down militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) making attacks on Turkish territory from Iraq. The Iraqi government made this pledge in an effort to avert Turkey's possible military retaliation.

Turkey said last Sunday that a military option was still on the table to deal with Iraq-based separatist Kurdish rebels.

The Turkish parliament sanctioned in mid-October military cross-border operations against the PKK, following an earlier government request.

Turkey has now amassed up to 150,000 troops for a possible military operation against around 3,500 PKK insurgents based in Iraq.

The PKK, listed by the U.S., NATO and the EU as a terrorist organization, has been fighting for autonomy status in southeast Turkey for nearly 25 years. The conflict has so far claimed about 40,000 lives.


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