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Kurdish rebels release German hostages


acidhead

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http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/07...ages/index.html

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

-PKK confirmed taking the three hostages from Mount Agri, Turkey on July 9

-Rebels: Said would hold them until German govt. stops "its enemy-like politics"

-In June Germany banned Kurdish TV station after calling it a mouthpiece for group

-Largest portion of Germany's foreign population is from Turkey

"We are not the enemies of the German people, and we have not mistreated any of the hostages," the PKK said, according to Firat. "Unless the German government announces it has stopped its enemy-like politics towards PKK and the Kurds, we will not release the German citizens."

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier then issued a statement saying the government refuses to be "blackmailed."

The largest portion of Germany's foreign population is from Turkey, which hopes to join the EU.(Ireland voted NO again earlier this summer)

The PKK is a leftist insurgent group that formed in 1984 to fight for an independent Kurdish homeland in southeast Turkey and adjacent areas in northern Iraq and Iran. The group initiated an armed independence campaign that year.

Since then, an estimated 35,000 people have died in the conflict.

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Former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, who had his fair share of conflict with the country-less Kurds could not be reached for comment.

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