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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 April, 2005, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
Pakistani hostage freed in Iraq
Relatives of Malik Mohammed Javed with his photo
Mr Javed's wife (with photo), mother and father in Islamabad
A Pakistani embassy worker kidnapped in Iraq two weeks ago has been released unharmed by his captors.

Father-of-six Malik Mohammed Javed, a non-diplomatic assistant, was abducted on 9 April after he left home to go to evening prayers at a Baghdad Mosque.

His abductors, the Omar bin Khattab militia, had originally demanded a ransom in exchange for his release.

Officials in Islamabad said Mr Javed was released without conditions and would be returning to Pakistan shortly.

'Delighted'

There had been reports of a $500,000 (261,000) ransom, but this was denied by Pakistani officials.

Mr Javed has worked at Pakistan's embassy in Baghdad for the last seven years while his wife and six children live in Islamabad.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said: "Malik Javed, who was kidnapped in Iraq, has been released. I have just talked to his wife and family."

At the time of the kidnapping, Pakistani officials said they could see no political motive for the kidnap.

Islamabad has been a staunch ally of the US-led war on terror, but opposed the invasion of Iraq.

A Pakistani envoy was sent to Iraq to co-ordinate efforts to free Mr Javed.

"Because of the efforts made by the government of Pakistan, we have been able to secure the safe release of Malik Javed," said Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Mr Javed's son, Bilal, said the family was delighted: "I'm so happy, I don't know what to do," he told Reuters news agency.

"The prime minister called us. He said father has reached the Pakistani embassy in Baghdad safely."


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