A pro-Kurdish news agency says Kurdish rebels have extended their unilateral ceasefire with Turkey for two more weeks. Their original 30-day truce expired on Tuesday.

The notice was published Wednesday by the Mesopotamia news agency, which frequently carries rebel statements.

This ceasefire extension by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, known as the PKK, appears timed to coincide with the October 3 start of Turkey's membership talks with the European Union. The Associated Press quotes rebels who urged the Turkish government to correctly assess the historic opportunity for peace.

Turkey has repeatedly said it will not enter into direct talks with the PKK.

In announcing the ceasefire last month, the PKK said it would not conduct any operations beyond self-defense. But Western news reports say rebels clashed twice last week with Turkish soldiers in southeastern Turkey. Five soldiers were reported killed in the fighting.

Some information for this report provided by AP.