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3 Abducted Americans Freed in Iraq

  • VOA News

FILE - A U.S. flag flies in front of the Chancellery building inside the compound of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Dec. 14, 2011.

FILE - A U.S. flag flies in front of the Chancellery building inside the compound of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Dec. 14, 2011.

Three Americans abducted in Baghdad last month have been freed, Iraqi officials said Tuesday.

Unknown gunmen kidnapped the three from a private apartment in mid-January, with U.S. and Iraqi officials saying they believed an Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia carried out the abduction.

Iraqi officials said the three Americans were freed by Baghdad's intelligence service and handed over to the U.S. embassy there.

The Americans were reported to be in good health.

The U.S. State Department praised the Iraqi government for helping secure the release of the three Americans.

"We sincerely appreciate the assistance provided by the Government of Iraq, and its whole-of-government effort to bring about the safe release of these individuals," spokesman Mark Toner said. "Specifically, we express our gratitude to the Iraqi Security Forces, and in particular the Ministry of Defense and the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, for their role in achieving this outcome."

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