A large-scale operation has been launched to find the four village guards kidnapped in the province's Beytüşşebap district. The PKK is also still holding eight people, including five civilians, who were kidnapped in the past two months.
On July 9, the PKK kidnapped two soldiers and a health official after stopping a military vehicle on the Diyarbakır-Lice highway. A candidate for district governor and a medic were kidnapped on Aug. 12 while three more civilians were kidnapped in late August as well. A group of 10 southeastern NGOs on Wednesday issued a joint statement calling on the PKK to release the eight hostages.
The PKK, which recently stepped up its attacks in the country's east and Southeast, has killed more than 40 soldiers in the past few months. The PKK has been declared a terrorist organization by the international community, including the US and the EU.