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Former Hostage Hamill Arrives Home in Mississippi - 2004-05-08


An American civilian held hostage for three weeks by Iraqi insurgents has arrived home in the United States.

Thomas Hamill, who escaped from his captors nearly one week ago, arrived early today (Saturday) in (the southern state of) Mississippi from Germany, where he had been treated for a gunshot wound in the (right) arm.

Mr. Hamill's wife, Kellie, traveled with him. He did not speak to reporters, but has said he expects to spend some quiet time (recover from his ordeal) with his family.

The 44-year-old man was wounded and taken hostage April 9th, when Iraqi insurgents attacked a convoy outside Baghdad and killed four of his co-workers. Mr. Hamill had taken a high-paying job as a truck driver in the Iraq war zone, in an attempt to pay high family medical bills resulting from his wife's heart surgery.

His captors had threatened to kill him unless U.S. forces pulled out of Fallujah, a stronghold of Sunni Muslim insurgents and suspected foreign guerrillas fighting against American forces.

Mr. Hamill, a former dairy farmer, escaped on May 2nd when his captors left him alone in a house 100 kilometers north of Baghdad where he was being held. He was rescued after chasing down a passing U.S. military convoy.

Information for this report is provided by AP.

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