news Thursday, January 29, 2015 - 05:30

The News Minute | September 20, 2014 | 10:35 am IST

London: As many as 49 Turkish hostages seized by Islamic State (IS) in Iraq on Saturday returned to Turkey.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the 49 hostages included diplomats and their families as well as soldiers, BBC reported.

They were seized from Turkey's consulate after IS militants seized Mosul city in June.

Turkey has refused direct involvement in the military campaign against IS partly because of fears over the hostages' safety.

The hostages are being taken to the southern Turkish city of Sanliurfa.

IS previously known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)has seized large areas of Iraq and Syria.

Estimates say the group could have up to 30,000 fighters.

With IANS 

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