Seven foreign truckers freed in Iraq

| 9/1/2004

Iraqi militants released seven truckers Wednesday, Sept. 1, that had been held hostage since July.

The truckers, employed by a Kuwati trucking firm, were released unharmed and were being sent back to Kuwait.

The three Kenyans, three Indians and one Egyptian were released after months of being held by the militants who had repeatedly changed their demands and deadlines. Their captors apparently had dropped their last round of demands – that the trucking firm pay compensation to families who had suffered in U.S. air strikes, according to Reuters reports.

Kidnapping civilian employees – many truckers – has become a favored tactic of militants in war-torn Iraq. Many times the captors have demanded civilian contractors leave Iraq and cease assistance to U.S. and other troops occupying the area.

According to Reuters, approximately 24 hostages have been killed.