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Freed Italian Hostages Return Home from Iraq - 2004-09-28


Two female Italian aid workers who were held hostage in Iraq for three weeks are now home in Italy.

Simona Pari and Simona Torretta landed in Rome late Tuesday, hours after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi announced they were free after what he called difficult negotiations. He said their release is "a moment of joy."

Earlier, Arab television showed the two women being handed over to the Red Cross, along with two Iraqis who were seized with them on September 7th.

Unknown gunmen captured them from the office of the Bridges to Baghdad charity, demanding Italy pull its troops out of Iraq.

Also Tuesday, an Egyptian telecommunications company said six of its employees -- four Egyptian and two Iraqis -- have also been freed.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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