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  Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Three German tourists kidnapped by Kurdish rebels during their climbing expedition
Three German tourists kidnapped by Kurdish rebels during their climbing expedition early in July have been released, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

The three German tourists were seized by rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) while climbing Mount Ararat in Turkey in early July. The rebels said the move was intended to protest Germany's policy towards Kurdish separatists.

The details of the release are not yet known, the Turkish television news channel NTV said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has called his German colleague Frank-Walter Steinmeier over the phone and told him about the release of German climbers, the ministry said.

The German climbers are in good health condition, the ministry said.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the EU, the U.S., and many other countries, has been fighting for an autonomous ethnic Kurd state in southeast Turkey for nearly 25 years. The conflict has so far claimed over 40,000 lives.


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