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the three French and Iraqi members of SOS Chrétiens d'Orient held hostage since the end of January have been released, announces the Elysée

“France has made every effort to achieve this outcome,” said a brief statement from the French presidency, without further details.

Three French and one Iraqi, members of the French NGO SOS Chrétiens d'Orient, who had been kidnapped in Baghdad (Iraq) on January 20, 2020, were released, the Elysée Palace announced on Thursday evening. “France has made every effort to reach this outcome. The President of the Republic expresses his gratitude to the Iraqi authorities for their cooperation”, indicates a brief press release from the French presidency, without further details.

SOS Christians of the Orient said last week that there was no news of its four missing members, without message or claim.

They had disappeared “around the French embassy”

The four men, the French Antoine Brochon, Julien Dittmar, Alexandre Goodarzy and the Iraqi Tariq Mattoka, had “disappeared around the French embassy”, in the city center of the capital, according to the NGO.

Baghdad, when kidnapped, has been plagued by protests for several months, some against the government and influence of Iran, and others against the presence of American troops in Iraq after the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, killed in Badgad in early January in an American drone attack.

The humanitarian association presents itself as helping Christians in the East, victims of persecution in the region, in particular under the influence of the self-proclaimed caliphate of the organization Islamic State (IS). Its officials, anchored to the right, have sometimes been accused of complacency with the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

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