Kidnapped French, Iraqi aid workers released after 2 months

PARIS (AP) — Four kidnapped aid workers from France and Iraq have been released two months after they were taken hostage in Baghdad.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced their liberation Thursday and thanked Iraqi authorities for their cooperation with France to free them. He didn’t provide details.

Their liberation was announced the day France started pulling out troops from Iraq as the French military is deployed to help fight the new virus.

The three French citizens and one Iraqi worked for aid group SOS Chretiens d’Orient, which helps persecuted Christians in the region. They all had past experience in crisis zones and were staying at a hotel that regularly hosts international guests when they went missing in January.

It was a time of heightened tensions in the region after a U.S. drone strike on Baghdad airport.