Three Americans held in Iraq for almost one month have been released and are being flown to a U.S. military base in Germany, officials said Tuesday.
The Iraqi government was responsible for securing the release of the trio, according to the State Department.
A senior Iraqi security official told NBC News on condition of anonymity that the Iraqi intelligence service had "liberated" the Americans, who were reported missing in Baghdad on Jan. 16 under vague circumstances.
It was not clear why or how they disappeared, or who — if anyone — was holding them.
All three were "fine," a U.S. military official told NBC News, except for "bumps and bruises you'd expect." They will now be taken to the U.S. facility at Landstuhl.
"They are back under U.S. control and they will be evacuated to Landstuhl" for "personnel recovery protocols," the official said.
"We sincerely appreciate the assistance provided by the government of Iraq, and its whole-of-government effort to bring about the safe release of these individuals," Mark Toner, State Department deputy spokesman, said in a statement.
"Specifically, we express our gratitude to the Iraqi Security Forces, and in particular the Ministry of Defense and the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, for their role in achieving this outcome."