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Militants free 32 Turkish truck drivers seized in Iraq

Friday, July 04, 2014 - 01:17

Thirty-two truck drivers abducted by Islamist militants in Iraq three weeks ago arrive home in Turkey, as efforts to secure the release of 49 more abductees continue. Sarah Toms reports.

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Children and relatives in southeastern Turkey celebrate the news of the release of their loved ones. They're waiting for thirty two truck drivers, who were abducted in Iraq to arrive safely back home in this border province. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) UNCLE OF RELEASED TRUCK DRIVER MEHMET SIMSEK, NIHAT BILGIN, SAYING: "As they are released now, there is no problem. This morning they called us and told us that they had been released. Around midday they called us again and told us that they are on the way. We have just been informed that they passed Mahmur area and handed over to the Peshmerga (Kurdish) fighters in Arbil. Now they are safe in Kurdish zone." The drivers -- who came from this town -- had been delivering diesel to a plant in Mosul, when they were seized and held for three weeks. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER, AHMET DAVUTOGLU, SAYING: "As a result of efforts and daily consultations for the past 23 days, now I am happy to say that our 32 drivers have been received by our consulate-general and now our consulate general is on the way to Arbil with the drivers." But there was no word on the 49 remaining Turks, who are still missing. The Turkish government says it's working on gaining their release.

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Militants free 32 Turkish truck drivers seized in Iraq

Friday, July 04, 2014 - 01:17