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French Hostage Freed in Iraq


French and Iraqi officials say a French engineer kidnapped last month in Baghdad has been freed.

Iraq Interior Ministry officials and police say Bernard Planche was found Sunday near a security checkpoint, west of Baghdad.

Mr. Planche was abducted Thursday from his home in Baghdad. The kidnappers had threatened to kill him if France did not end what they called its "illegitimate presence" in Iraq.

The engineer's release comes a day after an American journalist was kidnapped in Baghdad.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military says five Marines were killed in separate insurgent attacks in Iraq Sunday and Saturday.

On the political front, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani says leaders of the country's political parties have agreed in principle to form a national unity government.

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