Kidnapped German woman freed in Iraq

A German woman kidnapped in Iraq earlier this year has been released, but her son is still being held hostage, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said today.

A German woman kidnapped in Iraq earlier this year has been released, but her son is still being held hostage, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said today.

Hannelore Krause, 61, and her adult son, Sinan, disappeared in Iraq on February 6. Steinmeier said the mother was released yesterday and was now in the care of the German Embassy in Baghdad.

He said he could give no details of how she was released.

Steinmeier added that her son remained in captivity and pledged that Germany would continue to do all it can to secure his release.

Videos of Krause and her son had surfaced on the internet since their abduction.

In April, the “Arrows of Righteousness” insurgent group posted a video showing the pair weeping and pleading for help. At the time, the group gave Germany 10 days to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan or else it said it would kill the hostages.

That deadline expired with no withdrawal of the troops.

German officials have not said what the mother and son were doing in Iraq.

But in the video posted in April, Krause said she worked for the Austrian Embassy in Baghdad, and the voice-over by the militant group said her son worked for the Iraqi Foreign Ministry.

Germany, which opposed the war in Iraq, has 3,000 soldiers serving in Nato’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, largely in the relatively calm north.

Last year, two German engineers were freed in Iraq after 99 days in captivity there. Another German was released after three weeks in December 2005.

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