ISTANBUL: Kurdish militants abducted three Chinese workers in Turkey’s southeast after the rebels attacked the thermal energy plant where they work, state media said Monday.
Militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) kidnapped the Chinese workers late Sunday while they were doing grocery shopping near the Iraq border, the Anatolia news agency said.
The assailants attacked the plant with rocket-propelled grenades and rifles and injured a security guard, it added. An operation was under way to find the workers.
The Turkish army confirmed the attack on the power plant but did not give details about the kidnapped Chinese.
The PKK has abducted Turkish troops, workers and lawmakers in the past during its 30-year armed insurgency seeking self-rule in the southeast.
The incident comes after clashes in Diyarbakir—another Kurdish-majority city—last week over the removal of a statue of a PKK fighter by Turkish soldiers.
A Kurdish protester and a Turkish soldier died when security forces clashed with Kurds protesting the dismantling of the statue, sparking protests in several cities.
The government has unveiled plans to kick-start talks with the PKK, which launched an insurgency in the southeast in 1984 that has claimed at least 40,000 lives.
Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan said earlier this month that the long-running insurgency was “coming to an end” but sporadic violence is still continuing in the southeast.