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PKK Rebels Extend Cease-Fire in Turkey

Kurdish rebels in Turkey say they are extending their cease-fire by a month, and have called on the Turkish government to engage in peace negotiations.

The acting leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Murat Karayilan, told journalists Thursday the group is willing to indefinitely suspend attacks if the government shows a commitment to peace.

Turkish media reports say officials have started talks with PKK leaders to convince the rebels to lay down their arms.

Turkey has ignored all PKK cease-fire declarations in the past and has continued military operations against the group.

The rebels began the cease-fire in August to coincide with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. At that time, a spokesman for the group demanded Ankara release 1,700 Kurdish political prisoners.

Kurdish rebels in southeast Turkey have been fighting for autonomy for more than 20 years.

The PKK is labeled as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.