BAGHDAD (Reuters) – U.S. hostage Thomas Hamill is free three weeks after television pictures showed him being driven away by armed men following an attack on a convoy in Iraq, the U.S. military said Sunday.
“It looked like it was an escape,” Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt told a news conference in Baghdad. He said a U.S. patrol found Hamill south of Tikrit, the home town of ousted President Saddam Hussein and a hotbed of anti-U.S. insurgents.
“Preliminary reports that we have would indicate that he had escaped from a building, when he saw the American forces identified himself and was subsequently recovered,” Kimmit said.
Mississippi farmer Hamill was a truck driver for Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root, which has a major logistics contract with the U.S. military as well as another deal rebuilding the country’s shattered oil infrastructure.
He was captured on April 9 when insurgents ambushed his convoy, killing several American soldiers and civilians. Television footage showed him being driven away by armed men after an attack on a convoy.
Guerrillas holding him said a few days later that they would execute him unless the U.S. siege of the town of Falluja was lifted.
Asked how long Hamill had been free before he was found, Kimmitt said: ” We don’t know that information. We will find that out, I’m sure that he will be glad to tell his story…
“He has spoken to his family and now is ready to get back to work.”