Istanbul: Two Turkish soldiers kidnapped by an armed Kurdish group in the southeast of the country were released after pro-Kurdish politicians intervened on their behalf, a security source said Friday.
The assailants had seized the soldiers on Saturday after stopping a bus on a highway near the town of Lice which had been blocked by Kurdish protesters demonstrating against the construction of a military outpost.
Lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and Peoples` Democracy Party (HDP) intervened to secure the release of the soldiers and handed them over to Turkish authorities late Thursday, the source told AFP.
The kidnapping came just after Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK), issued a statement warning of a possible return to violence.
However, it was not clear whether the kidnappers were linked to the PKK, which declared a landmark truce with the Turkish state in March last year.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb exploded Thursday next to a military convoy in the eastern province of Tunceli. There were no casualties, but local authorities blamed the incident on the PKK.
The Kurdish peace process stalled after the rebels announced in September they were suspending their retreat from Turkish soil, accusing the government of failing to deliver on promised reforms.