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Italy: prayers of thanksgiving as Iraq hostages walk free

 Prayers of thanksgiving are being said across Italy following last night's release of Simona Pari and Simona Toretta, voluntary aid workers held hostage in Iraq since 7 September. In a statement the Vatican said: "The Pope learned with great joy the news of the release of the two Italian women volunteers. His thoughts also went to their families and, together with them and with all other people of good will, thanks God for this humane gesture." The Chaldean Patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel Delly revealed that the Church had been involved in the negotiations which led to the release. He said: "We knocked on every door to free the two Italian women. One opened. The Lord was there to help us. And Iraqi Christians and Muslims are rejoicing." Source: MISNA/BBC