Peace campaigners across the UK were overjoyed this morning to hear the news that Norman Kember, Harmeet Sooden and Jim Loney have been freed. The news was issued by the British Embassy in Baghdad just before 9am, bringing to a close a four month ordeal for the British peace campaigner and two of his fellow hostages - Canadians Harmeet Sooden and Jim Loney. Their colleague, American Tom Fox, was killed earlier this month. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw confirmed the news of Mr Kember's release at 9.26am. He said British forces were involved in this operation and follows weeks of activity behind the scenes. Straw said: "I'm delighted we have a happy ending to this terrible ordeal." Norman Kember, 74, was in Iraq working with the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). He and his fellow hostages were captured in November. His hostage takers set a deadline for their terms to be met which passed in mid-December with no loss of life. However, the murder of Tom Fox on 11 March, intensified fears that the other hostages were in grave danger. Prayer vigils, organised by Pax Christi, were held in Trafalgar Square every week, and prayers were said in churches around the country each day for the hostages.
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