Iraq: US Ambassador leaves as ”kidnap victim” rescued

Published March 17th, 2005 - 12:30 GMT

Outgoing U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte left Iraq on Thursday after a nearly nine-month term to return to the United States as President Bush's nominee for the new post of national intelligence director.

According to The AP, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement that charge d'affaires James F. Jeffrey will assume responsibility for the vacant post temporarily. Negroponte had served as ambassador to Baghdad since arriving on June 30, 2004, just hours after the handover of sovereignty to Iraq's government.


Meanwhile, the U.S. military announced on Thursday that it had rescued a hostage and detained two Iraqi men during a raid late Wednesday near Beiji, 150 miles north the Iraqi capital. The statement did not identify the hostage, saying only that he had been a "kidnap victim."

In Kirkuk, gunmen late Wednesday killed the officer in charge of the northern city's criminal investigations department, said police chief Maj. Gen. Torhan Abdul Rahman. Also Wednesday, a U.S. soldier died in a roadside bomb blast south of Baghdad, the military said.

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