After 17 days in captivity, Islamist rebels freed two Chaldean nuns and three young Iraqis in Mosul. Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako told the Vatican's Fides agency the two women, Sisters Miskinta and Atur Joseph, are now safe, along with the two young women and a boy, who were kidnapped with them.
He added that ISIS militants had not mistreated the nuns, and that all five constantly prayed for peace in Iraq, during their captivity. Patriarch Sako also confirmed that the Church did not pay a ransom to free the group.
The Chaldean nuns ran an orphanage in Mosul, but they had evacuated when militants overtook the city. Several fighters kidnapped them when they had returned to check on the abandoned orphanage.
The two nuns and the three civilians were taken to safety in Iraqi Kurdistan, an autonomous region to the north of the country. This part of war-torn Iraq has taken in over half a million people since the ISIS rebels proclaimed a caliphate, also known as the Islamic State.