Canadian hostage freed in Iraq

A Canadian man taken hostage in Iraq by an unknown group last week has been freed and is in good health.

    Canadian Muhammad Rifat (passport photo) still in captivity

    A Canadian foreign ministry spokesman on Wednesday said businessman Naji al-Kuwaiti had been released in Baghdad on Tuesday and was in good health.

       

    "We can confirm that al-Kuwaiti was released in Baghdad yesterday. The department of foreign affairs facilitated his safe departure from Iraq earlier today. (He) appears to be well and in good health," said spokesman Patrick Riel.

       

    "He is making plans to return to Canada...at the request of the family we can't provide any further information."

     

    No comment

       

    Riel would not comment on a newspaper report which said al-Kuwaiti's family had agreed to pay a ransom of $50,000 to the kidnappers.

      

    Al-Kuwaiti, who holds Iraqi and Canadian citizenship, had been working as an exporter-importer when he was abducted in Baghdad last Wednesday. He was the third Canadian man to be abducted in the past month.

       

    Canadian officials are still trying to free 41-year-old Muhammed Rifat, who disappeared on 8 April near Baghdad while working on a construction project.

       

    Canadian humanitarian worker Fadi Fadil was also kidnapped last month, but released about a week later.


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