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Erdogan: Turkey Won't Disclose Details On Hostage Release


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will not disclose details of a covert operation to release 49 people held hostage by Islamic State militants.

The hostages -- 46 Turks and three Iraqis -- were returned to Turkey on September 20.

The group had been held for more than three months by the Islamic State, which captured them when it overran the Iraqi city of Mosul in June.

What Turkey did to secure the release of the hostages has been a subject of speculation, with many observers skeptical the militant group would have freed the hostages without getting something in return.

Erdogan denied having paid a ransom, although he was far less categorical when asked whether the government had swapped prisoners with the terror group.

"Whether there was or wasn't a swap -- 49 personnel were returned to Turkey," Erdogan said.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP
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