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German FM Says Hostage Released in Iraq


Germany's foreign minister says one of two German hostages held in Iraq since February has been freed.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters in Berlin Wednesday that Hannelore Krause was released Tuesday. Krause said on Arabic television Wednesday that her adult son, still a captive, will be slaughtered if Germany does not remove its troops from Afghanistan.

Krause was kidnapped with her adult son in Baghdad on February 6.

A militant Islamist group released a videotape of the hostages in March threatening to kill both of them unless Germany pulled out of Afghanistan within 10 days. They released a second video of Krause and her son in April, with the same demand.

Germany has about 3,000 troops in northern Afghanistan as part of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

Also today, the U.S. military said a suspected terrorist has been detained in southwest Baghdad. In a statement, the military said the suspect, an unidentified male, is believed to be affiliated with a terror group known as Jaysh al-Mahdi. The group is believed to be responsible for numerous attacks on Iraqi civilians as well as on coalition forces in the area.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Embassy in Iraq said a mortar attack on the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad killed at least three people. The embassy says the dead included a U.S. service member, an Iraqi citizen and a person of unknown nationality. .

The Green Zone includes the Iraqi parliament and prime minister's office as well as the embassies of the United States and Britain.

Violence in Iraq has killed more than 250 people in recent days.

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

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