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2 Pinays seized in Iraq rescued

By Roy C. Mabasa

The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Iraqi authorities for the swift and successful rescue of two Filipinas who were reportedly kidnapped three days ago.

According to the DFA, Iraqi authorities informed the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad last Sunday that the two Filipinas are now under police custody after they were rescued in Diyala province north of the capital a day after the incident.

In his report to the home office, Chargé d’Affaires Julius Torres said they were informed by authorities in Diyala province that they were rescued from members of a criminal group who forcibly took them on Friday.

Quoting Iraqi authorities, Torres said several members of the group were arrested during the police rescue operation and that charges were being prepared against them.

As an offshoot of the rescue, Torres said they have requested from Iraqi authorities access to the two Filipinas and the two others who were earlier reported to have been taken into custody after escaping from the armed men who took them.

The four Filipinas came from Erbil in the northern Kurdistan region and were on their way to Baghdad when their vehicle encountered the armed men on the highway in Uzem District between Kirkuk and Diyala.

The women were reportedly taken by the armed men after their driver abandoned their vehicle. However, two of the four women were reportedly able to escape from their abductors.

Torres said they would request custody of the four women as soon as the police investigation is concluded to enable them to be repatriated.

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