Iraq Militia Frees U.s. Hostage After 9 Months

March 18, 2012 by staff 

Iraq Militia Frees U.s. Hostage After 9 Months, An American, identified as Randy Michael Hultz, was shown on television in a US military uniform with no insignia, flanked by two members of parliament from Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr’s movement, including the parliament’s first deputy speaker.

He was handed over to the United Nations mission in Baghdad, which transferred him to the US embassy. Washington confirmed he was a US citizen but released no further details. In brief remarks to Iraqi journalists hastily convened to witness his release, Hultz said he had deployed to Iraq in 2003 and initially served there as a soldier for 15 months.

He remained in Iraq “in a civilian capacity from then until June of 2011, when I was taken hostage by elements of Yom Al-Maoud,” he said, referring to the Promised Day Brigade, an offshoot of Sadr’s Mehdi Army militia.

“I was taken inside Baghdad and have been kept in and around different locations within the city by Al-Maoud. It was explained to me that my release has been for humanitarian purposes and there was no exchange involved.”

Journalists were shown two identity cards with the name Randy Michael Hultz, one showing he had been a soldier and the other showing he had been employed as a contractor.

Sadrist lawmakers repeatedly described him as an American soldier and earlier identified him as Randy Michaels. However, the Pentagon says none of its serving troops have been listed as hostages in Iraq since the remains of the last missing soldier were recovered last month.

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