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Last Updated:  Monday, 31 March, 2003, 16:40 GMT 17:40 UK
Kenyan truck drivers rescued
By Kylie Morris
BBC correspondent in southern Iraq

David Mukuria on al-Jazeera
The men were found alone in a building with Iraqi weapons
Two Kenyans held for the past 10 days by Iraqi gunmen in the south of the country have been rescued by British soldiers.

The truck drivers were captured by Iraqis in the township of al-Zubayr, near the city of Basra.

David Mukuria, 53, and Jacob Kamau Maina, 37, were working for a Saudi-based company contracted by the British army to deliver aid.

They were seized after they delivered relief supplies for Iraqi prisoners of war near Basra.

They said they were taken captive by more than 20 people who were armed but not wearing uniforms.

The pair said they were held against their will in a building in al-Zubayr.

The men said they had been beaten and everything they had was taken.

Minister's plea

On Monday, British soldiers of the First Black Watch Battalion received intelligence as to where they were being held.

Jacob Kamau Maina on al-Jazeera
The men were found alone in a building with Iraqi weapons
They found the two drivers alone in the building.

One soldier involved in the rescue said the men were very happy to see them.

The British discovered ammunition and weapons in the building.

The two drivers say they are looking forward to seeing their families.

Kenyan newspapers have carried long articles about the fate of the two men with appeals from their families for their release.

Kenya's foreign minister had also urged Iraqi authorities to set them free.

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