State Department: Three Americans kidnapped in Iraq released

State Department: Three Americans kidnapped in Iraq released
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The State Department on Tuesday announced that the Iraqi government has secured the release of three male U.S. citizens who were reported missing in January. 

"We sincerely appreciate the assistance provided by the Government of Iraq, and its whole-of-government effort to bring about the safe release of these individuals," said Mark Toner, State Department deputy spokesman.

"Specifically, we express our gratitude to the Iraqi Security Forces, and in particular the Ministry of Defense and the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, for their role in achieving this outcome," he added in a statement. 

The three citizens working as U.S. contractors were kidnapped in Baghdad last month by unknown gunmen while visiting a private apartment that was reportedly a brothel

The gunmen were reportedly members of an Iranian-backed Shiite militia. The State Department statement did not say who had taken the U.S. citizens or why. 

The three men were employed by a small company working for General Dynamics under a U.S. Army contract.