Three Turkish engineers held captive for nearly two months in Iraq have been freed and returned to Turkey on Tuesday.
The three, Pasa Saglam, Metin Ceylan and Fatih Yigit, were released near Beiji, north of Baghdad, Yigit told the Anatolia news agency. The three had been working for a Turkish company in Iraq and were kidnapped on July 16 from their workplace.
A Turkish Embassy official in Baghdad confirmed the release and said the men were freed on Monday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity. Turkish officials can only speak to the press with prior authorization, the AP informs.
Yigit said the kidnapped Turks were never physically harmed by their captors, but repeatedly were threatened with beheading.
"They never hurt us but every night they would come in saying, 'We'll cut off your head,"' he was quoted as saying by the AP.
Dozens of Turks have been kidnapped while working in Iraq, and at least five have been killed by their captors.
"I don't want any Turk to go to the Arab region of Iraq," Yigit said after his release.