Dozens of Turkish hostages, held by Islamic State militants for three months after being seized in Iraq, have returned to home soil.
The captives – seized at the Turkish consulate in Mosul in June – included Consul General Ozturk Yilma and other diplomats, soldiers and two young children.
The Turkish government said the hostages were all Turkish consulate employees: 46 Turks and three Iraqis.
Turkish media reported that all 46 Turks had arrived in Turkey.
Ankara said a ransom was not paid, but did not provide details about the circumstances about the release.
The freed hostages were transported through Syria to the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa, where they were met by prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
“Today is a festive day not only for you (freed hostages) and your families, but for the whole nation,” Davutoglu said in Sanliurfa.
Davutoglu then travelled on with the freed hostages to the Turkish capital Ankara, where they were reunited with relatives at the airport.
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