Susanne Osthoff--German Hostage in Iraq--Has Been Freed





A German aid worker and archaeologist kidnapped in Iraq with her driver has been freed after three weeks in captivity, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced Sunday night.

He did not disclose any details about Susanne Osthoff's release.

''I am glad to be able to announce to you ... that Mrs. Susanne Osthoff is no longer in the hands of the kidnappers,'' Steinmeier said at a hastily arranged news conference. ''As of today, she is safely in the care of the German Embassy in Baghdad.''

e added that ''our impression after talking to her is that she is in good physical condition.''

It was not immediately clear if Osthoff's driver also was freed. Steinmeier left the news conference without taking questions.

The woman's brother, Robert Osthoff, told The Associated Press that German police informed him of his sister's release just a few minutes before Steinmeier's announcement.

''We'll light candles, pray, and then perhaps we'll get our peace and quiet back,'' he said. ''I'm happy, I'm overjoyed, that's all I can say.''



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