Chinese Hostages Freed in Iraq

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Saturday, January 22, 2005

The Chinese Embassy has confirmed a report by the Al-Arabiya television station that the eight hostages held hostages in Iraq four days ago had been released unharmed.

Al-Numan Battalion, the militant group holding the men had threatened to kill them if China failed to clarify its position on Iraq. It reportedly said in a videotape that the hostages were being freed after China said it had advised its citizens not to travel to Iraq.

"The Islamic Resistance Movement, al-Numan Battalion, has decided to release the eight citizens as a goodwill gesture for the friendship between the two countries of Iraq and China," the militant said on the tape. "They were not harmed during the period they were held and also they weren't exchanged for any amount of money," the rebel added.

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