News headlines

Agency report
Baghdad, Mar 23: US and Iraqi forces freed a Briton and two Canadian hostages, including one of Indian origin, in a military operation on Thursday.

British officials in Baghdad said those freed were Canadians Harmeet Singh Sooden (32), who is of Indian orgin and James Loney (41), and Briton Norman Kember (74).

The Iraqi Interior Ministry said the captives were freed in a town north of Baghdad. In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he was "delighted that now we have a happy ending in this terrible ordeal".

He said Kember was in "reasonable condition" in Baghdad's Green Zone. The two Canadians required hospital treatment, he said, but gave no further details.

The hostage aid workers, members of the Chicago-based Christian Peacemakers Teams, disappeared on November 26. The previously unknown Swords of Righteousness Brigades claimed responsibility for kidnapping them.

One of the hostages, US citizen Tom Fox (54) of Clear Brook, Virginia, was believed to have been killed by his captors last month. His body was found in Baghdad March 11. 


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