French Christian charity staff kidnapped in Iraq are freed

Jean Der Agopian (left), press relations officer, and Benjamin Blanchard, director general of the French charity SOS Chrétiens d'Orient (Christians of the Middle East), Paris, 24 January 2020Image copyright AFP
Image caption At the time of the kidnapping, Jean Der Agopian and Benjamin Blanchard from SOS Chrétiens d’Orient gave a press convention in Paris

Four staff from a French Christian charity who have been kidnapped in Iraq in January have been freed, President Emmanuel Macron’s workplace stated.

The three French nationals and an Iraqi have been kidnapped in Baghdad on 20 January at a time of heightened tensions.

Their launch got here a day after France stated it might withdraw its troops from Iraq because of the coronavirus pandemic.

France’s presidential Elysee Palace stated it had made “every effort to reach this outcome”.

“The president of the republic welcomes the release of our three nationals Antoine Brochon, Julien Dittmar, Alexandre Goodarzy and Iraqi Tariq Mattoka,” it stated in an announcement.

“The president expresses his gratitude to the Iraqi authorities for their co-operation,” the assertion added.

No particulars of the discharge got.

In an announcement final week the charity SOS Chrétiens d’Orient stated no group had claimed duty for the kidnapping and no ransom demand had been obtained.

After information of the boys’s launch got here via it “warmly thanked” French and Iraqi authorities for his or her efforts.

SOS Chrétiens d’Orient t says it seeks to assist Christians within the Middle East and has been working in Iraq since 2014.

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