49 Turkish hostages held by Islamic State militants freed

Updated - April 20, 2016 05:45 am IST

Published - September 20, 2014 10:17 am IST - ANKARA

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday that 49 Turkish hostages who were seized by Islamic State militants in Iraq have been freed and safely returned to Turkey.

The Turks, including diplomatic staff, were seized from the consulate on June 11, when the militant group overran Mosul and stormed the Turkish Consulate.

Mr. Davutoglu told Turkish reporters during a visit to Baku, Azerbaijan that the hostages were released early on Saturday and had arrived in Turkey.

“I am sharing a joyful news, which as a nation we have been waiting for,” Mr. Davutoglu said. “In the early hours our citizens were handed over to us and we brought them back to our country.”

“They have crossed into Turkey and I am on my way to see them,” Mr. Davutoglu said.

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