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Iraq Militia Releases US Hostage

3/17/2012 6:34 PM ET

Two Iraqi legislators handed over a U.S. citizen, who had been held in detention for about nine months by an Iraqi group, to the United Nations mission in Iraq, according to several reports.

The reports said that he was handed over by Deputy Speaker of the Council of Representatives, Quasay Al-Suhail, and Maha al-Douri, a member of the Iraqi Parliament.

The Iraqi officials reportedly said the man was a US soldier. However, the UN and the State Department declined to identify the man.

The man reportedly told Iraq's Bagdadiya television that he was a former soldier, who was working in a civilian capacity when he was seized in June 2011.

The man was handed over by followers of the anti-U.S. Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The report said the man's name is Randy Michael Hill, 59, a retired member of the U.S. military.

The man was freed after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq "to give a message about Iraq's good intentions and to say that Iraq restored its sovereignty," the reports stated citing al-Douri.

by RTT Staff Writer

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