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Hostage Douglas Wood rescued

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  • Hostage Douglas Wood rescued

    Great News from Iraq.

    Hostage Douglas Wood rescued

    Australian hostage Douglas Wood has been rescued in a military operation in Iraq, Prime Minister John Howard says.

    "I am delighted to inform the House that the Australian hostage in Iraq, Mr Douglas Wood, is safe," Mr Howard told Parliament.

    "Mr Wood was recovered a short while ago in Baghdad in a military operation that I am told was conducted by Iraqi forces in cooperation in a general way with force elements of the United States."

    Mr Wood, a 63-year-old Australian married to an American woman and living in the US, had been held hostage in Iraq for more than six weeks.

    Mr Howard says Mr Wood is now under the protection of the Australian emergency response team in Baghdad.

    "I understand that he is well - he's undergoing medical checks at the present time," he said.

    "I know that all Australians will be jubilant at this news - this man has suffered immensely."

    Mr Howard says no ransom was paid for Mr Wood's release.

    Foreign Minister Alexander Downer says a number of people were detained in the military operation.

    A spokesman for the Wood family, Neil Smail, says the family is "elated".

    "The family is delighted that Douglas is now free," he said. "It's been a really horrifying ordeal for him."

    Mr Smail says the family wants to thank the Australian Government, as well as agencies in Iraq and Sydney-based Muslim cleric Sheikh Taj El-Din Al-Hilaly for their efforts in trying to free the engineer.

    "The family is greatly relieved and it really does appreciate all the work that's been done towards his release," Mr Smail said.

    Mr Smail says the family does not yet know when Mr Wood will leave Iraq.

    But he says the family is looking forward to a good night's sleep after their long wait for his release.

    "It's been a horrifying ordeal for him," he said. "The family is greatly relieved. The family greatly appreciates the work that's been done towards Douglas's release by the Australian Government team in Iraq and officials in Canberra, other agencies in Iraq and earlier by Sheikh Al-Hilaly."

    Mr Howard had paid tribute to the Wood family, who he said had demonstrated enormous resolve and courage in its efforts to secure his release.

    The family has conducted a major public relations campaign in both Australia and Iraq, in a bid to convince Mr Wood's captors that he is a family man who sympathises with their cause.

    Mr Wood's capture first came to light on May 1 when insurgents released a video showing him pleading for his life and asking Australian and US troops to leave Iraq.

    Great to finally get some good news from Iraq. He is a very lucky man.
    YBBN - James

  • #2
    Excellent, great to hear. Bout time some good news came out of that area of the world.