Kurdish rebels kidnap British national: governor

AFP , Sunday 3 Jun 2012

Kurdish rebels have stopped a passenger bus and kidnapped a British national in southeastern Turkey, local officials said on Sunday.

The incident took place at 1530 GMT on Saturday on the Diyarbakir-Bingol highway.

Diyarbakir governor Mustafa Toprak confirmed the kidnapping, in remarks carried by the Anatolia news agency.

Rebels "seized some passengers' phones and kidnapped a foreign national, who is thought to be a British national," he told Anatolia.

The rebels took a 35-year-old Briton to a rural area in the northeast of Kurdish majority Diyarbakir, local sources said.

The abduction followed a recent increase in activity by the rebel group, which last month kidnapped 10 villagers from Bayirli village in the southeast. The motive was unknown.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey and much of the international community, took up arms in Kurdish-majority southeastern Turkey in 1984, sparking a conflict that has claimed some 45,000 lives.

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