BAGHDAD (AP) — Islamic militants released 32 Turkish truck drivers Thursday who they captured during a lightning offensive across northern and western Iraq last month, Turkey’s foreign minister said.
Ahmet Davutoglu said the truck drivers were heading toward the city of Irbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, and would be flown to Ankara in the evening. He said the drivers were well but that one of them may need to undergo a special treatment. He did not elaborate, nor did he provide any details on the circumstances of their release
Militants from the extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant seized the truck drivers in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on June 9. Three days later, they took another 49 people from the Turkish consulate in Mosul.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Davutoglu said efforts were underway to secure the release of the Turks still in captivity.
“The critical process continues,” he said. “Our prayers and our efforts will go on for the rest of them and God willing, we will share such good news about them too as soon as possible.”
Frazer reported from Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press reporter Mehmet Guzel in Istanbul contributed to this report.