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Iraqi Army Rescues Australian Hostage in Northwest Baghdad

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2005 – Iraqi soldiers rescued Australian hostage Douglas Wood this morning, Military officials in Baghdad reported.

Wood, a 63-year-old engineer who lives with his American wife in Alamo, Calif., was kidnapped in late April. A group calling itself the Shura Council of the Mujahedeen of Iraq claimed on a video sent to the Arab network Al Jazeera on May 1 that it had abducted Wood. The group also has claimed involvement in other terrorist acts in Iraq.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 1st Iraqi Army Brigade, discovered Wood and an Iraqi hostage in the northwest Baghdad neighborhood of Adel while conducting a planned cordon-and-search operation for a weapons cache, officials said.

Three people were detained during the operation, which also yielded four AK-47 assault rifles and a sniper rifle. The soldiers met with light resistance from terrorists during the rescue, officials said.

Wood was taken to a medical treatment facility on a nearby U.S. Army camp, where he was examined. "He's in generally good health," said Maj. Steve Scott, commander of Company C, 199th Forward Support Battalion, 256th Brigade Combat Team.

(From a Multinational Force Iraq news release.)

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