The State Department confirmed that three Americans kidnapped from a Baghdad apartment last month were released on Tuesday to officials at the American Embassy.
Little information about the circumstances of their abduction or the details of the handover by the Iraqi authorities was available.
The State Department issued a statement saying, in part: “The Department of State welcomes the news that the government of Iraq has secured the release of three U.S. citizens who were reported as missing in January. 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.”
On Tuesday, an Iraqi intelligence official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Americans had been taken by a Shiite militia and were turned over to Iraqi intelligence officers after negotiations.
As Iraq’s security deteriorated in recent years, with the extremists of the Islamic State seizing territories in the north and west, Baghdad has seen a rise in abductions, which officials have blamed on Shiite militias that rose to defend the capital. Many of these groups are backed by Iran and operate largely beyond the control of the central government.
Read More- New York Times
Image courtesy of the New York Times