ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has confirmed media reports that two Turkish intelligence officials have been captured by Kurdish rebels in neighboring northern Iraq.

Cavusoglu’s comments, in an interview with Al-Monitor news website on Monday, were the first confirmation by a Turkish official of Kurdish and other media reports that two National Intelligence Organization agents were kidnapped by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, while on a mission in northern Iraq.

Cavusoglu said Turkey is working for the return of “all citizens that the PKK kidnapped,” adding that Ankara was not engaged in direct talks with the militant group “to bring back those two persons.”

Reports claimed the agents were captured during an anti-PKK operation in Iraq in August.

The group is considered a terror organization by Turkey and its allies.