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Kidnappers have freed Lebanese hostage in Iraq, says Lebanon’s foreign ministry | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) – Iraqi kidnappers have freed a Lebanese man abducted two weeks ago and he is on his way home, Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Carlos Michel Dakkash, 43, was scheduled to arrive in Lebanon later Wednesday after travelling through Jordan, the ministry said in a statement.

The statement gave no details about Dakkash’s release and did not say whether a ransom had been paid.

Dakkash was kidnapped May 10, a few days after he arrived in Iraq. Gunmen posing as police came to the offices of his company claiming to be investigating something. They lured Dakkash outside, forced him into a car and drove away, the Lebanese newspaper As-Safir has reported.

Quoting Dakkash’s relatives, the newspaper said the kidnappers had demanded US$2 million (¤ 1.56 million) in ransom from the company employing Dakkash.

Hundreds of Lebanese, including businessmen, engineers and construction workers have gone to Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in April 2003.

One Lebanese hostage in Iraq was killed in June 2004 and three other Lebanese hostages were shot dead in Baghdad in September 2004.

About 200 foreigners, including more than 20 Lebanese, have been kidnapped in Iraq, either for political reasons or for ransom. More than 30 foreign hostages have been killed.