Three French nationals and an alcoholic who perform for a Christian charity have been published in Iraq over two weeks after being taken hostage, the French Presidency declared on Thursday night.
“France made every attempt to achieve this result. The President of the Republic expresses gratitude to the Iraqi government for their collaboration,” it went, without mentioning or by whom they were held.
The four guys working for SOS Chrétiens d’Orient — a charity devoted to Christians in the Middle East — vanished on January 20 at Baghdad in which they’d gone to perform administrative tasks including expanding their visas.
Their disappearance arrived in a time of increased tensions in the nation with regular demonstrations protesting the US drone killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
The NGO explained to them in the time as”four seasoned workers, in good health and with perfect understanding of emergency areas”, including that no group had claimed responsibility and no ransom demand was made.
Their release comes only a day after France declared it was temporarily placing an end to its military actions in the nation and withdrawing its troops.