Three Americans kidnapped in Baghdad last month have been freed, the State Department said Tuesday.
“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,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner stated, according to Reuters.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that the U.S. citizens were contractors for the State Department. The Defense Department would help transport the Americans out of the region Tuesday, he said.
Breaking: Three Americans kidnapped in Baghdad last month have been released: Iraqi media
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) February 16, 2016
The Americans’ release was reported by Iraqi media and confirmed by an Iraqi government source and an official in Iraq’s Interior Ministry, according to Reuters. A source with the U.S. government also confirmed the release, though the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad did not immediately comment on the matter.
“The three Americans were released in an area near Yousifiya, south of Baghdad. Intelligence forces received them and will hand them over to the American authorities [in Baghdad],” the interior ministry official said.
This post will be updated as further information becomes available.