Seven Turkish people kidnapped by Kurds

Seven people, including two pro-government village guards, were kidnapped after being stopped at a roadblock near the Iranian border, according to private Dogan news agency.

The kidnapping occurred Sunday night near the village of Ogulveren, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the Iranian border in Van province, Dogan news agency said. Authorities were not immediately available for comment on the report.

Hours before the reported kidnapping, a lawyer had said eight Turkish soldiers who were released by rebels two weeks after being abducted were being charged with "undermining military discipline" and "escaping abroad."

The soldiers were abducted by rebels of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, on Oct. 21 following an ambush that killed 12 other soldiers. They were taken to a rebel base in the north of neighboring Iraq.

Turkish troops, meanwhile, shelled areas on the Turkish-Iraqi border early Monday after seeing a group of Kurdish rebels trying to cross into Turkey, Dogan reported.

Turkey has been pondering whether to stage a cross-border offensive against Kurdish rebels based in Iraq. Artillery pieces were seen being transferred to units positioned on the border, Dogan said.

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Author`s name Angela Antonova