State Department confirms release of 3 Americans in Iraq

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The US Department of State seal is seen on the podium-lectern area November 26, 2013 in the State Department briefing room in Washington, DC. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department confirms that three Americans who were abducted in Baghdad last month have been freed. And Iraqi officials say they’ve been handed over to the U.S. Embassy in good health.

In January, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad confirmed that several Americans had gone missing. Iraqi authorities said the three were kidnapped from a “suspicious apartment.” Iraqi and Western officials said they suspected one of two powerful Shiite militias was behind the kidnapping. The Americans were abducted in Dora, a mixed neighborhood that is home to both Shiites and Sunnis.

In a statement today, a State Department spokesman expressed thanks for the Iraqi government’s efforts that led to “the safe release of these individuals.”

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