Kurdish rebels release 8 captive soldiers, officials as part of peace efforts with Turkey

A Kurdish party official says Kurdish rebels have freed a group of captured soldiers and officials as part of peace efforts between Turkey and the rebels.

The official says the rebels on Wednesday handed over six soldiers, a trainee local administrator and a police officer to a group of Kurdish legislators who had traveled to northern Iraq, where the rebels maintain bases. They are expected to return to Turkey soon.

She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The release follows a call by the rebels' jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is engaged in talks with officials of Turkey's intelligence agency aimed at ending the decades-long conflict which has claimed tens of thousands of lives since 1984.