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US confirms Baghdad abduction Americans freed

Published 16/02/2016

Officials in Iraq have said three Americans abducted in Baghdad have been freed
Officials in Iraq have said three Americans abducted in Baghdad have been freed

The three Americans who were abducted in Baghdad last month have been freed, the US State Department said on Tuesday.

Iraqi officials said they have been handed over to the US Embassy in good health.

"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," Mark Toner, a deputy spokesman, said in a statement.

Iraqi officials said the trio were freed by Iraqi security forces.

In January, the US embassy in Baghdad confirmed several Americans had gone missing. Iraqi authorities said the three were kidnapped from a "suspicious apartment".

Iraqi and western officials said they suspected one of two powerful Shiite militias was behind the kidnapping.

The Americans were abducted in Dora, a mixed neighbourhood that is home to both Shiites and Sunnis.

It was the latest in a series of high-profile kidnappings undermining confidence in the Iraqi government's ability to control state-sanctioned Shiite militias, which have grown in strength as Iraqi security forces battle the Islamic State group.

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