Dozens of Turkish hostages seized by Islamic State, IS, in the north Iraqi city of Mosul in June have been released.
The released hostages included diplomats and their families as well as soldiers.
They were abducted from Turkey’s consulate after IS militants seized Mosul in a rapid advance in June.
Turkey has refused direct involvement in the military campaign against IS partly because of fears over the hostages’ safety.
Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu said the hostages are now back in Turkey, adding that the hostages were all in good health and that they were released early on Saturday.
They were being taken to the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa by the Turkish intelligence agency, he noted.
“I am sharing joyful news which as a nation we have been waiting for.
“In the early hours our citizens were handed over to us and we brought them back to our country. They have crossed into Turkey and I am on my way to see them,” the Turkish Prime Minister said.
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