Baghdad Patriarch says 'we knocked, a door opened'
"We knocked on every door to free the two Italian women," His Beatitude Emmanuel Delly, Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad said after the announcement of freedom for the two Italian hostages overnight Australian time. "One opened. And Iraqi Christians and Muslims are rejoicing."
"When I mean we knocked on every door, I mean every door," he stressed. "And the Lord was there to help us find one open. I cannot tell you which one, but one opened and the two young women walked through free."
The Patriarch refrained however from going into details as to how the Church was able to free Simona Pari and Simona Torretta, the two Italian women aid workers abducted on 7 September 7 and set free yesterday local time.
The BBC reports that they were handed over to the Red Cross in Iraq's capital, Baghdad, and arrived back to a jubilant reception in Italy late on Tuesday.
Arabic television station al-Jazeera broadcast footage of the two Italian women, aged 29, being released.
It showed them in an open field, wearing black veils over their faces, which they later lifted, smiling and chatting as they were met by three men.
"Shukran, shukran gesilan, ma salama [Thanks, thanks a million, good-bye]," said one of the women.
We knocked, a door opened, Baghdad Patriarch says (AsiaNews.it 28/9/04)
Italian hostages released in Iraq (BBC 28/9/04)
Joy for the liberation of Italian aid workers (AsiaNews.it 28/9/04)
Negotiator tells of 'days of hope' (BBC 28/9/04)
Nine Workers Killed in Baghdad, Six Were Chaldean Christians (Zenit 27/9/04)
Muslim terrorists kill nine young Christians in Iraq (Catholic News Agency 28/9/04)
Holy see wants multinational force in Iraq, says Vatican observer (Catholic News Agency 28/9/04)
Rome hails release of hostages (news24.com 28/9/04)
Chaldean Church helps free Italian hostages (Catholic World News 28/9/04)
Bishop of Baghdad says don't give in to hostage takers (CathNews 10/9/04)
NGOs in Iraq: staying put to rebuild country and coexistence (AsiaNews.it 9/9/04)
John Paul II Prays for All the Kidnapped in Iraq (Zenit 8/9/04)
Baghdad Patriarch Aiming to Have 2 Captives Released (Zenit 8/9/04)
Iraqi prelate: Don't give in to terrorists (Catholic World News 9/9/04)
29 Sep 2004