U.S. and British troops Thursday freed three Christian peace activists in a rural area of Iraq without a shot being fired.
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the U.S. military spokesman, said a “kidnapping cell” had held the hostages in a house and the operation to free them was based on information from a man captured by U.S. forces.
According to Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, the man had been captured only three hours before the mission to free the captives was launched.
“We got that information at 0800 (0500 GMT) this morning and we conducted the operation,” said Maj Gen Rick Lynch.
“We moved to the location in western Baghdad that was reported for the location of the Christian Peacemaker Team.
“We conducted an assault on the house and inside the house we found the three hostages, in good condition.
“There were no kidnappers there at the time. The three hostages were by themselves.”
Although Maj. Gen. Lynch said the hostages were bound, he did not elaborate as to why no kidnappers had been apprehended or where they were. Or indeed whether they had been warned in advance of the rescue mission to free the hostages.
A fourth hostage, US Christian peace activist Tom Fox, was found dead in Baghdad two weeks ago.
Christian Peacemaker Team’s Kidnapping: Who Did It?