Italians go free

Al hamdulillah.

Al-Jazeera Says 2 Italian Hostages Freed (AP):

AP - The Arab television network Al-Jazeera announced that two Italian aid workers kidnapped earlier this month were released Tuesday in Iraq. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi confirmed the women had been freed, Italian news reports said.

"The two girls are well and will be able to embrace their loved ones tonight," Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was quoted as saying by the AGI news agency.

Berlusconi's comments were reported just after the Arab television network Al-Jazeera announced that the Italians, Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, had been freed. A Muslim leader from Italy met with a local Muslim association earlier Tuesday in Baghdad to press for their release, though it was not immediately known if there was a connection.


Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,