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Freed Romanian Journalists Arrive Home

May 23, 2005

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ Three Romanian journalists who were held hostage in Iraq for nearly two months arrived home aboard a military plane Monday, a day after their release.

Television reporter Marie Jeanne Ion and cameraman Sorin Miscoci, both of Prima TV, and Ovidiu Ohanesian, a reporter from the daily newspaper Romania Libera, were kidnapped in Baghdad on March 28 with their Iraqi-American guide, Mohammed Monaf.

The four were freed Sunday. The journalists flew Monday to Romania, where they were greeted by President Traian Basescu and hundreds of journalists and friends.

After landing in Bucharest, the three Romanians, who appeared to be in good health, exited the plane and hugged their families. They were joined by Basescu, and all four raised their hands and made victory signs with their fingers. Ion whooped with delight, while Miscoci waived a bouquet of red carnations.

One of the tires on the plane, a C-130 Hercules transport, blew out on landing, though the craft came safely to a stop and no one appeared to have been injured.

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