Local authorities, Philippines’ foreign affairs secretary confirm safe recovery.
Two women from the Philippines kidnapped in Iraq on Saturday have been freed, the Diyala province police chief said on Sunday.
The women had been traveling with three compatriots on the road connecting Baghdad to Kirkuk when their car broke down, two military sources said.
According to GMA News, the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that the women have been rescued.
‘We thank God for the successful rescue of our two kababayans,’ Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said in a statement. Authorities in Iraq contacted the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad after the successful rescue of the women. Cayetano also praised the ‘swift response’ of Iraq to ensure the safe return of the Filipinas.
The two women got out of the car after it broke down. Unknown men drove by in a yellow car and took them, a military source said.
The identities, affiliation, and motivation of the kidnappers was not yet clear, the sources said on Saturday.
There has been an increase in attacks and kidnappings by Islamic State militants over the past few weeks near the area where the women were taken.
At least eight members of the security forces were kidnapped and later killed by militants on the same highway last month.