German hostage in Iraq let go after 3-wk captivity

December 19, 2005 03:07
1 minute read.


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A German aid worker and archaeologist kidnapped in Iraq has been released after three weeks in captivity, Germany's foreign minister said. Susanne Osthoff was in "good physical condition" Sunday at the German Embassy in Baghdad, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said. Osthoff, 43, was the first German to be kidnapped in Iraq. She disappeared November 25 in northern Iraq along with her Iraqi driver, whom German media have identified as Khalid al-Shimani. Days after their disappearance, Osthoff and her driver were shown in a videotape blindfolded and sitting on a floor, with militants - one armed with a rocket-propelled grenade - standing beside them. The captors threatened to kill the hostages unless Germany stopped dealing with the Iraqi government. Steinmeier said the kidnappers had said they would release the driver as well, but it was not clear from his statement when that would happen. The foreign minister refused to take questions. Osthoff, a humanitarian aid worker who had studied archaeology, had been working on the renovation of historic buildings in the northern city of Mosul, according to local officials.

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