Japanese Hostages Freed in Iraq


Al-Jazeera, monitored in Cairo, said the two aid workers and a journalist were in Baghdad and free as “the guests of Muslim scholars.” It gave no further details.

The Japanese government confirmed the release, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

Three Japanese civilians were taken hostage in Iraq last week by militants who threatened to kill them unless Japan withdraws its non-combat troops from southern Iraq. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had refused, insisting the soldiers will complete their humanitarian mission.