DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iraqi kidnappers have released 10 Turkish hostages they had held for more than a month after their Turkish employer said it would leave Iraq, Al Jazeera television said Sunday.
"A statement sent to Al Jazeera said the release came after their Turkish company announced it would stop its activities and completely withdraw from Iraq," the Arab broadcaster said.
On Sept. 18, Al Jazeera had aired a videotape of what it said were the 10 Turkish hostages. On the tape, the captors, believed to have ties to militant Abu Musab Zarqawi, threatened to kill the workers within three days if their employer did not quit Iraq.
The construction firm, Vinsan, said three days later that it was suspending its operations in Iraq to save the men.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad had no information about any hostages being released.
Vinsan, based in Ankara, also could not confirm the release. An employee said on condition of anonymity that efforts to secure the hostages' release were continuing "positively." He did not elaborate.
Insurgents in Iraq have kidnapped more than 150 foreigners in their campaign to drive out coalition forces and hamper reconstruction. Most victims have been kidnapped for ransom and freed unharmed, but nearly 30 have been killed.