BAGHDAD, Iraq – A video delivered anonymously to Associated Press Television News on Monday appeared to show the release of two Indonesian journalists that went missing in Ramadi (search) last week.
The authenticity of the video could not be verified and the hostages' apparent release could not be independently confirmed. A witness earlier had said the journalists were taken by armed men in military uniform on Tuesday.
The video showed the two journalists shaking hands with a militant. It was not possible to determine when it was made.
"For reasons of suspicion, these two journalists were arrested," the masked militant said, reading from a notebook. "Based on the goodwill they showed, and respecting the feelings of brotherhood and Islam between the two countries, and respecting the Indonesian anti-occupation role, we decided to release the two journalists without any conditions and ransom."
In Jakarta, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry (search) welcomed the news.
"That's great, wonderful," said spokesman Marty Natalegawa. "We were on an emotional roller-coaster waiting for that news."
The two journalists are 26-year-old Meutya Viada Hafid and Budiyanto, 36, a cameraman who, as is common in Indonesia, uses one name.
The video showed a militant, his face masked with a red checkered scarf, handing Budiyanto a pen, a maroon copy of the Quran (search), and a white Muslim prayer cap. The male hostage kissed the Quran and immediately put on the cap. Hafid, given a scarf, could be seen smiling faintly.
Their release followed a Friday appeal by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to militants to set the pair free.
Another video released Friday showed the reporters flanked by masked gunmen, with a voice speaking off camera saying the two were being held by the Mujahedeen in Iraq, a group about which little is known.